With their resolutely iron clad credentials in delivering the most emotionally affecting and grippingly dynamic hardcore in the game, it’s somewhat difficult to foresee any fatal missteps in ‘Room Of The House’, the third full-length offering from La Dispute. Although the Michigan quintet continue to place great store in what is an incredible knack for exquisite storytelling and vivid brush strokes of poetic drama, time and again a boundless instrumental scope proves to stand toe-to-toe with the lyrical turmoil, marking undoubtedly the strongest material yet in the band’s flourishing canon.
Predictably, vocalist Jordan Dreyer turns in a gut wrenching performance. Weaving a blanket of visceral reflections, it’s rare that, even without possessing a voice which be considered particularly skilled, such a roaming narrative is able to hook with such feverish clout. Yet, the thunderous clamour of ‘Stay Happy There’ or opener ‘Hudsonville MI 1956’, coupled with recurrent spoken word passages (see ‘The Child We Lost 1963’ for an especially harrowing example), are consummately engaging, translating a shattered intensity and tangible pain which is at points acutely haunting.
Indeed, there’s something wonderfully unfettered about La Dispute‘s craft which sees its nigh on impossible not to get drawn into the sentiment. Untreated sincerity is king, yet filtered through the like of delicate shuffle ‘Woman (Reading)’ or the bristling aplomb of ‘First Reactions After Falling Through Ice’, the journey ebbs and flows with instrumental flavours which make for, not only a sonic banquet of light and shade, but a visual stimulation unmatched in recent memory.
‘Rooms Of The House’ represents the pinnacle of the band’s talents. Explosive, delicate, intelligently put together and with a thrillingly melancholic marrow at his core, the towering layers and wholly earnest nature of the record may come across as slightly daunting, yet it’s the beauty of ‘Rooms Of The House’ that’s able to leave us both exhausted and captivated.
Written by Tony Bliss