ARTIST: LA DISPUTE
WORDS: ADAM HOPKIN
Flicking through family scrapbooks, old holiday videos or even strolling through museum exhibits, the recollections these evoke may be hazy, but security can be found in the un-deniability of history and that these events actually took place. Even with this reassurance they all suffer from the same collective shortcoming, that they will never recapture the events they commemorate with the same vivid intricacy as witnessing them again first hand.
But this is exactly how La Dispute has carved their niche. Frontman Jordan Dreyer excels in utilising his complex lyricism to recapture the often harrowing subjects of the bands releases in their full significance, assigning even the most meticulous of details a purpose. This part glorification, part celebration of the seemingly ordinary has made the band’s narratives so accessible, like catching a glance of your own reflection in someone else’s picture frame. Where any other band would use vagueness to achieve the same effect, La Dispute encapsulates every painstaking detail of their subjects, using specifics to drive their emotionally charged, raw form of post-hardcore.
“a snapshot of tragedy deeply rooted within a community”
Taking cues from their universally praised 2011 release ‘Wildlife’, the band’s latest effort ‘Panorama’ is a snapshot of tragedy deeply rooted within a community. Unlike its spiritual successor ‘Panorama’ sees Dreyer retire from his role as the transcendent narrator, instead forcing a much more claustrophobic perspective. The contents of the album are inspired by drives the frontman would take with his partner and the stories they would share, transposing their own mortality with those of their conversations.
The albums ethereal opener Rose Quarts bleeds into the two successive and aptly titled follow ups Fulton Street I and II, Dreyer is introduced through whispers, but this restraint doesn’t last, with the frontman openly questioning if he would ever be able to mourn the hypothetical passing of his loved ones, just as so many have before across the same road.
Rhodonite and grief continues to push the instrumental macabre stillness explored across “rooms of the house” with horn section embellishments supporting his trademark shouts. In Northern Michigan and There You, however, bear more resemblance to their earliest releases, with a lonely baseline punctuating a patient spoken word delivery.
“‘Panorama’ sees the Michigan five-piece once again undo the seams of post-hardcore”
‘View From Our Bedroom Window’ and ‘Footsteps At The Pond’ have La Dispute brilliantly showcase how their instrumentals seamlessly carry the pace of the master storyteller, maintaining the engagement and enhancing every aspect of immersion thanks to the phenomenal percussive delivery courtesy of Brad Lugt with Adam and Corey on guitar and Chad Sterenberg playing bass.
‘Panorama’ sees the Michigan five-piece once again undo the seams of post-hardcore, making for their most accessible record yet whilst still retaining the harmony of experimentation that has upheld the uncompromising intensity of their previous records.