Overall Score: 5.5/10 Consistency: 5/10 Memorable Songs: 7/10 Vocal Mix: 6/10 Pros: A few standout tracks | When it's good, it's very good Cons: Too many forgettable tracks | Vocal mix on some tracks
Acceptance Speech is the fifth studio album from post-hardcore group Dance Gavin Dance. The Californian six piece have undergone considerable line-up changes in the last eighteen months, but things seem to have finally settled down for them and as a result of having a settled line-up they’ve been able to spend dedicated time in the studio with the result being Acceptance Speech, which was released earlier this month through Rise Records.
The post-hardcore landscape is quite a bloated one these days and as a result it is increasingly difficult for bands to stand out in that field. The addition to the band of new clean vocalist Tillian Pearson has given Dance Gavin Dance a new dimension but with new members it can take time to integrate them fully and there is an element of that here. The balance between Tillian and Jon Mess’s harsh vocals is not always achieved on Acceptance Speech and a number of the songs feel somewhat unbalanced as a result.
When Dance Gavin Dance do get it right, they can sound as good as any of their post-hardcore contemporaries (if indeed you can call them that because their musical style is increasingly varied). Carve is a short firecracker of a track with some pummelling drums underpinning the track as Jon Mess spits his lyrics out and you can feel the pure venom behind every word. Demo Team is a great example of where both vocalists combine well and the song flows very well with some very enjoyable guitar work throughout and The Jiggler, as well as having an amusing song title is a fierce sonic assault intertwined with moments of calm where Tillian’s vocals are showcased very well. It is a shame that they are unable to maintain the level of quality throughout the whole album.
Overall Acceptance Speech is a decent start for the newest incarnation of Dance Gavin Dance and gives them a platform to build from. Hopefully for the sake of the band and their fans on their next album they will find greater consistency.