Dance Gavin Dance

Artificial Selection

Written by: PP on 07/11/2018 21:57:09

Dance Gavin Dance emerged at the height of the emo/post-hardcore movement in 2007 with a spectacular debut album "Dance Gavin Dance" eleven years ago, and have been releasing new music at a remarkably steady pace since then with "Artificial Selection" being their eighth album overall. While most of their peers from back then have either evolved their soundscape into irrelevancy, faded away and disbanded, or turned into a washed out, emotionless version of themselves over the years, these guys have been revolutionizing the genre one release at a time. Maybe the reason most of their colleagues are long gone is that they listened to the Dance Gavin Dance output over the years and simply just gave up? That's not a far-fetched assumption considering the ridiculous quality of craftsmanship required to write songs like the ones on this album.

One of the key reasons why Dance Gavin Dance continue to impress down the line is the huge variety offered by records like this one. The music varies from screamo-laden, metallic wrecking balls to playful emo anthems and punk-fueled ragers in equal measure. Not content at just toying around with casual quiet/loud dynamics, the soundscapes on "Artificial Selection" are innovative, fresh examples of what is possible to achieve with post-hardcore if you think a little outside of the box. The songwriting is infinitely clever, where a track can go from an infusion of pop/R'n'B flavour to a cacophonic breakdown of screamo and crushing guitars in an instant, as is evident during a song like "Midnight Crusade". Similarly, the metal-driven "The Rattler" transitions from mathcore style discordance to silky-smooth, high-pitched choruses effortlessly and back again, providing a little something for everyone, but not at the cost of quality in either genre.

Though there's plenty of pop-flavored mixed in with high-pitched emo croonery as delivered by vocalist Tilian Pearson, it never feels annoying or pompous in the same overtly arrogant, fashionable way as, say, Don Broco did on their latest record. That's again credit to Dance Gavin Dance as songwriters because they showcase an uncanny ability to experiment with different stylistic inspirations without having to resort to cheap tricks and effects in the process. Their soundscape just feels so much more believable and passionate as a result.

Through relentless bursts of energetic screamo and intricate fretwork combined with punk and metal undertones, "Artificial Selection" is one of those records that helps put other bands in the genre into perspective. Where most other post-hardcore bands anno 2018 are content at reiterating clichés or simply come off as tired derivatives of the genre's golden years, Dance Gavin Dance continue to ascend their mothership to new heights of innovation. Much like its predecessor, "Artificial Selection" is once again a benchmark for post-hardcore that others will be measured against and cements their place as the best post-hardcore band of the past decade.


Download: Midnight Crusade, Hair Song, Son of Robot, The Rattler
For the fans of: Circa Survive, A Lot Like Birds, Emarosa, Letlive, Hail The Sun, Issues
Listen: Facebook

Release date 08.06.2018
Rise Records

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