Dance Gavin Dance shows no signs of slowing down in ‘Mothership’

Chris Prenatt, Reporter

Sacramento-based post-hardcore band Dance Gavin Dance’s (DGD) newest album, Mothership, shows signs that the quintet is maturing. On their seventh album – third with vocalist Tilian Pearson – the band is able to stay fresh after being a band for over 11 years. To quote the song “Young Robot,” “It’s been a long time coming.”

DGD has come a long way ever since they began 11 years ago. It may have taken them a decade, but they’ve finally released their magnum opus. Long gone are the copycat sounds of acts such as the Mars Volta and the King Crimson. Pearson is able to finally balance himself out, using his crisp, sweet vocals to duke with Jon Mess’s rough, aggressive screamed punches.

While most of their Rise Records label mates are trying their hardest to reach rock radio fame like Of Mice & Men and Memphis May Fire, DGD are fine being themselves and refuse to change to what is popular in the “scene.”

The album starts off on a high note and it echoes all the way until the final track. Mothership begins with the band going all out on “Chucky Vs. The Giant Tortoise” For a band that has been playing for a while, DGD sounds as perfect as they did back in 2005. The guitar work by Will Swan is superb, with his best songs being “Deception,” “Chucky Vs. The Giant Tortoise” and “Chocolate Jackalope.” The time signatures and change of tempo have been truly mastered by the band.

In usual DGD style, the songs and lyrics are quite silly. With tracks like “Flossie Dickey Bounce” and “Petting Zoo Justice,” it’s hard to not let out a chuckle just by reading the titles. On “Chocolate Jackalope,” Jon Mess screams, “Since 2005 I’ve been living a lie/ I’m not even a man I’m just a cat in disguise/ I was born by surprise in the Egyptian times/ Bring me a treat, and I’ll imprint your face forever,” where he claims he’s actually an Egyptian feline from the days of King Tut and not a human. It all hits the fan with “Petting Zoo Justice,” a song about animals fighting each other for the sake of fighting each other.

Mothership feels like it was made to be a tribute to their dedicated fan base. These 13 tracks make fans reminisce about why DGD is important to them. It’s a beautiful love letter. This album is like if someone put all of their discography in a blender and put it on high. The result would be Mothership. Hands down, this had to be DGD’s finest album in their career, and it seems there’s no slowing down now.

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