First Listen Review: La Dispute – “Tiny Dots”

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The Good: La Dispute deserve a bigger name. Although they have been rewarded good grades from well known music bloggers, they still haven’t become a common name spoken between normal people. Some of their sound is just typical punk or hardcore punk band with distorted guitars and lowkey yelling, but at times they throw in spoken word poetry over the top that really gets to the heart of the band’s uniqueness. This album continues that aspect of the band with the song “C”, intertwining a lofi recording of the singer reading poetry over the top of eerie keyboards similar to something on Tim Hecker’s Ravedeath. The first half of the album plays around with this darker guitar style more, on “A” the band shows how the nonstop playing of the same note on every downbeat can create a very uncanny atmosphere, especially when a sad set of piano chords crumble on top sounding off an image of a broken home. “B” switches the gameboard completely, with trickling electronic drums sounding like a muffled WW2 walkie talkie welcoming in a light guitar sound that reminds me of Linkin Park or something from a Call of Duty game. The rest of the first half of the album continues to be mostly instrumentals.

The second half of the album has the band play a more acoustic live set of some of the previous hit songs, revealing that the band can change the style a little while being almost perfect live. Even in front of an audience, the singer is able to captivate the listener with his word choices and storytelling.

The Bad: Besides the one song with spoken word in the beginning, the instrumentals aren’t interesting enough to be something I’d beg to listen to in a month’s time. The live performances are good too, but I doubt anyone would rush to have this LP if they aren’t die hard fans wanting all the band’s material.

Would I Listen Again: Maybe

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