La Dispute

Somewhere At The Bottom Of The River Between Vega And Altair

Written by: DR on 10/07/2009 22:22:44

"Somewhere At The Bottom of The River Between Vega and Altair" is a lost lover. A man is standing in the rain next to the river looking for her, "I think I saw you in my sleep, darling, I think I saw you in my dreams you were stitching up the seams on every broken promise that your body couldn't keep." The whole album revolves around this concept, and weaved in to this concept are themes of heartbreak, loss, love, and ultimately, hope.

"Oh, Lover, uncover. I know it's warm beneath your sheets and there is ice along the streets but listen - Lover, we will recover." She shouts "I will come back. Yes, I will come back!", but he's giving up and through angst-ridden wails he cries; "She will never come back".

We learn of her fate: "But the tide clung like an anchor to her feet and though he tried to make the water line recede, it pulled her out into the sea, he could not break apart the waves to bring her safely back in, he watched her hand break through the surface once then disappear again.", and now he faces a battle to come to terms with her death, and how he will survive without her, "My precious wife, I am in shambles, I am crumbling." On the back of tormented vocals, he begins to accept was has happened: "One cannot stop the wind from blowing, nor refuse the falling rain."

Leading you through this epic is vocalist Jordan Dreyer, and though he is vocally not the best, it's this speciously perceived lack of quality that is his hallmark, as it reinforces his wailed screams and cries of everything from anguish to optimism, and makes them so utterly compelling. Lyrically (or should I say poetically) though, Jordan is - by some way - the best on the scene. His lyrical and storytelling flair is ridiculously brilliant, in every song there's a stanza that - in the purest sense of the word - will render you paralysed with awe.

Jordan's performance here almost pardons you from unintentionally overlooking the fact that there is talent in equal measure behind the voice; the twelve-minute voyage that is "The Last Lost Continent" being a particular acme, moreover the melancholic "Fall Down, Never Get Back Up Again" demonstrates the band are capable of more than just exciting and unconventional ear shredding riffs.

"Nobody, Not Even The Rain" ends the album on a high, showing that he has finally come to terms with what has happened to his lover, and though it only just about stretches to over one-minute long, it's a fitting and uplifting finale to a magnificently captivating tale: "I swear that even with the distance, slowly wearing out your name, your hands still catch the light the right way and our hearts still beat the same."

"Somewhere At The Bottom of The River Between Vega and Altair" is a struggle, a battle with the elements, fate and one's own fears. As it's a blend of experimental post-hardcore it will take numerous listens and patience to truly delve and immerse yourself in to this unequivocal magnum opus; but if anything, that's a good thing, nay, a great thing - as in the long-run it'll provide more lasting value. After months of almost constant and incessant listening, I still go back to this album and pick up on something different to love each and every time. I can't do this album justice, only a wordsmith such as Jordan Dreyer himself probably could, so you should – and need – to listen for yourself.


Download: Damaged Goods, Fall Down Never Get Back Up Again, The Last Lost Continent, Nobody Not Even The Rain
For the fans of: At The Drive-In, mewithoutYou, (early) As Cities Burn, Trophy Scars
Listen: Myspace

Release Date November 2008
No Sleep Records

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