Wed. May 22nd, 2024

Renowned For Sound

For the latest music reviews and interviews

Album Review: La Dispute – Rooms of the House

3 min read

Since the release of their debut album in 2008, La Dispute have been defying listeners to categorise their music as any one genre as they blend countless elements into their sound and break hearts with their emotionally charged lyrics and vocal style. The beautifully distressing records they have offered in the past (Somewhere At The Bottom Of The River Between Vega And Altai, Wildlife) established themselves as an incomparable group with a collection like no other.

LaDispute-RoomsOfTheHouseThe creativity of La Dispute is boundless and shows no signs of slowing down with their newest effort Rooms of the House. The quintet from Michigan are not shy of experimentation and have produced a refined, moving collection which cements their place as one of the must-know bands for fans of alternative music. Rooms of the House sees the group move slightly away from the heavy, aggressive sound which featured dominantly in their previous records and incorporate more melodic rock rhythms as the backdrop to their haunting, storytelling lyrical style. The sense of urgency in their songs has become iconic of La Dispute and features in Rooms of the House as it flows smoothly between tracks.

Featuring lyrics revolving around heartbreak and other dark subject matter such as the loss of a child (THE CHILD WE LOST 1963) in typical La Dispute style, the band have a habit of evoking deep emotions which tug at your heartstrings and – quite frankly – really bum you out. There is nothing happy about La Dispute’s music, and it’s not the sort of thing you’ll hear on mainstream radio or music channels.  But it is brilliant. They explore issues that many other musicians won’t and do it in a way which captivates the listener. They produce their art in a mostly melodic spoken-word style which is unlike most of the other music on offer.

The distressing vocal style of front-man Jordan Dreyer is present from the opening, suspenseful track HUDSONVILLE MI 1956 which blends into the more punk-pop influenced First Reactions After Falling Through the Ice.

The mood changes with Woman (in mirror) which lacks the suspenseful feeling of the previous songs and instead offers quite a different sound for the band. The vocals are delivered in signature spoken style but are slower and the instrumental background is much lighter and more acoustic based than in other tracks.

For Mayor in Splitsville is another experimental song for La Dispute, taking on more of an alternative rock than hardcore influenced sound. The melodic rhythm of the song flows well and demonstrates the way the band are not afraid to take risks to offer the best music they can.

Towards the end of the album we are again given a chance to catch our breath in between the suspense-inducing tracks with Woman (reading). The instrumental style on this track is quite unusual for La Dispute, taking on a relaxed, almost pop influenced style to back up Dreyer’s calm vocals.

Extraordinary Dinner Party is one of the album’s best songs, hidden towards the end. It features an upbeat tune which could almost be a mainstream rock song if not for the distinctive and underlying heavy La Dispute style.

La Dispute are a truly talented and creative band who seem to improve with each album they produce. Rooms of the House is a brilliant record which will be a welcome addition to any music fan’s collection and could well be looked upon as one of 2014’s best. The more melodic influences adopted on this album allow it to appeal to a wider audience, making it the perfect introductory album for new listeners to familiarise themselves with one of the most interesting and emotion-evoking bands in the business.