By RANDI RODRIGUEZ
Dance Gavin Dance is a one-of-a-kind band formed in 2005 in Sacramento, California. The reason I create emphasis on the fact that this is a significantly unique band is because this band is like no other. Guaranteed, you will never find a band quite like Dance Gavin Dance, due to the fact that they are so random, heavy and light, yet passion filled all at the same time. They are so different, that they don’t really have a genre like any other band. Many call them part of the metal scene, many call it rock, and others call it post-hardcore music. The truth is, society will never define this group with a genre; they are their own genre with their own sound, with their own way of writing and creating music, along with their own way of expressing their own emotions in their unrepeatable songs.
Not many bands can release eight studio albums since 2005 and create such a sound with powerful lyrics, that is except DGD. Each album from this group had a different sound as if ever album was an experimental success that somehow each defined a new look and style every time. Everything from Will Swan’s masterful guitar playing skills, Matt Mingus’s positive energy-filled drums, bassist Tim Feerick and his pounding bass, Jon Mess’s distinct screaming, and Tilian Pearson’s never-heard-before clean vocal talent. Anyhow, these five artists comes a new, powerful, and dazzling album titled “Artificial Selection”, released on June 8th, 2018.
Dance Gavin Dance clearly took a more experimental approach to this album. And it clearly payed off. However, giving a Dance Gavin Dance song a fitting description is difficult, since they are so unique and different (which is never a bad thing). Jon Mess’s vocals are rough and unclean, as if anxiety were a sound. Mess has an amazing vocal talent if you wanted to listen to music when breaking glass lamps with a baseball bat. On the other side of the coin, Tilian Pearson’s voice is beautiful, groovy, and if a bass guitar had a voice, that would be a perfect description for Pearson’s voice. Bringing these two vocalists together for the band gives off a clear-minded vibe, almost like you just went through your toughest day of your live, and all of a sudden, you stop and take a deep, refreshing breath. This perfect description of the band is also a good description for this album overall. Some songs are tougher than others, such as “Flash” and “The Rattler”. But if you want a more bass-filled, groovy sound, definitely check out “Count Bassy” and “Care”.
Taking a look at more of the groovy, fun-filled songs, “Count Bassy” guitarist [of Dance Gavin Dance] Will Swan tells us more about the song. He explains, “I named this song after the amazing artist Count Basie. But I changed the spelling because this is a chill song with a bass-driven parts. So it’s bassy”. As Swan mostly described this song as “bassy”, we can see why when we listen to the song, since it’s mostly filled with one of Pearson’s most beautiful vocal parts. One of the most memorable quotes of this song includes, “Don’t get all sentimental about it, oh no. The sun comes up the rain comes down. There ain’t nothing you can do to change it. Don’t get all sentimental about it, oh no. Life’s not fair”. This song explains that no matter what happens, it is not your fault, so learn to let go. Excuses sound best to the person who is making them up. Life is not fair, so don’t cry about your mistakes and excuses, get up and fix them. Not only does this song have beautiful lyrics and powerful instrumentals, It has a well-put meaning to it.
Since we discussed some of their better work of this album, there seems to be more…rushed songs. “The Rattler” proves to be a more energetic song. A little too energetic. Will Swan describes it as “just a song to move your head like a rattle”. This song is fast paced that sounds like a car crash with an ugly ending. However, this ending ends with fast and not well thought out lyrics. This song is basically noise, not music.
In conclusion, this is overall a beautiful, different, and refreshing album. It has some amazing songs, such as “Evaporate”, “Count Bassy”, and “Son of Robot”. On the other hand, songs like “The Rattler” and “Bloodsucker” turned out to be more noise than music. But that still does not change the fact that this unique band has a lot to offer.