La Dispute / Koji

Never Come Undone

Written by: DR on 10/05/2011 23:21:20

"Never Come Undone" is a long time coming. We were informed of its inevitable drop long before Koji released his split with Into It. Over It., and even before La Dispute's superb split with Touche Amore. Considering how long we've had to wait, it's slightly odd there hasn't been more buzz surrounding its release.

But, here it is. A four song snippet that for La Dispute is an effort to show they can step outside of their comfort zone; for Koji, two more stripped down folksy efforts to add to his catalogue. Both have contributed one original song, whereas Koji chose a cover of Ted Leo and The Pharmacists' "Biomusicology" for his second, and La Dispute chose a re-imagining of their "Last Blues For Bloody Knuckles".

If you had assumed, based on "Somewhere at the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair", that La Dispute were all about the 'whinecore' (TM. neema), then you'd be wrong. They've always had an affection for acoustic folk-y music, as heard on their experimental "Here, Hear." series, which their efforts here hold closer resemblance to than anything on their debut LP, or anything else they've done for that matter.

With the original being such an intense listen, suddenly hearing "Last Blues for Bloody Knuckles", or "Last Blues" as it now, stripped down, removing all aggression and replacing it with Dreyer's Aaron Weiss-esque restrained cries makes for an intriguing listen. It's so different from the original that there is little point in comparing the two; it is in those differences, especially in Dreyer's delivery, that you learn to appreciate it as its own song. However, all novelty wears out far too quickly, and so offers nothing over long-term listening.

New track "Sunday Morning, at a Funeral" tries to recapture some of the intensity for which they are known by increasing the tempo after a languid start with quickly spoken lyrics that build up to a yell, but in the context of this EP, it's somewhat out of place.

Andrew “Koji” Shiraki is a singer-songwriter from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, who came into this split as a relative unknown. Despite a brief flirtation with his work with Into It. Over It, I hadn't really taken the time to get to know his music. I'm now regretting not taking more time on that release, because Koji is clearly something special.

Ironically, "Peacemaker" is driven by his angry vocals atop a wealth of textures. He shows his passion with lines like "It's a person that we face in the mirror / There's a truth that we once knew and no longer can fear / They can take all our heroes, imprison each last one / But it's a spirit so resilient, some things never come undone". Violins, group-vocals and Koji's naturally sweet voice create a gorgeous version of "Biomusicology", and one that is as good as any cover I've heard in ages.

Fans of La Dispute will have hoped for more on their side of "Never Come Undone" to help tide them over until the new full-length expected at some point later this year. However, fans of their good friend Koji, who also has a new full-length coming later this year, will be delighted with what he's come up with - and for good reason, because it's pretty fucking special.


Download: Biomusicology, Peacemaker
For The Fans of: La Dispute, Koji, acoustic singer-songwriters
Listen: La Dispute's Bandcamp
Listen: Koji's official site

Release Date 03.05.2011
No Sleep Records

La Dispute player:

Koji Player:

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