Having weathered a myriad of line-up changes thus far in their decade long career, we could forgive Sacramento denizens Dance Gavin Dance for dropping the ball slightly amid their revolving door member shifts and countless obstacles. Nevertheless, their experimental emo-prog stylings has rarely shown a dip in quality, with the band’s ten year and counting run of form now scaling new heights with their sterling sixth full-length.
Although not straying too far from their traditional blend of startling six-string chops and scream/sing switch-a-roo, there’s a certain immediacy to these songs which sees the term ‘Instant Gratification’ rather apt. With ultra slick melodies at every turn (‘Variation’, ‘Legend’) and Tilian Pearson‘s helium assisted vocals perhaps as charmingly infectious as ever, even that long-established DGD instrumental intensity can do little to disrupt what is a tight knit focus on richly satisfying hooks.
Aggression is still in plentiful supply however, the whirlwind guitars of ‘Shark Dad’ and pinwheeling tempos of closer ‘Lost’ delivering all the signature musicality and flights of structural fancy that the quintet have previously made their bread and butter. ‘Awkward’‘s less than subtle shift from sublime crooning into breakdown barbarity is a striking example of this, as is ‘Eagle Vs. Crows’ tech-pop/hip hop oriented mash up.
Managing to preserve their current line-up between albums for the first time in years, ‘Instant Gratification’ smacks of cohesive brilliance undoubtedly due to their to their new found consistency. Long may it continue, as on the evidence of this dazzling slice of post-hardcore savvy, Dance Gavin Dance have succeed in turning crippling instability into career besting triumph.
Written by Tony Bliss (@TBliss88)