New Music for that Quarantine Life: Dance Gavin Dance’s “Afterburner”
Confession time. I went into the newest offering from Dance Gavin Dance, Afterburner , totally blind and I think that was for the best. There are hundreds of bands that actively tour the US and while I’m sure I’ve seen the band play before because I’m forever a sucker for the Warped scene, it was never something where I fully immersed myself in a Dance Gavin Dance performance. But “Afterburner” hooked me within the first few bars of the opening track, Prisoner, and it just went on from there.
The musical orchestration is unreal and I know now from talking to people that it is something Dance Gavin Dance has always been so well known for. It a hundred percent makes sense when you look at the member breakdown of this band and the success they’ve had as musicians individually and as a unit. Coating the music itself is angelic, undeniably talented vocals from clean vocalist Tilian Pearson. Matched well with Jon Mess, the album is definitely going to defy fans expectations’. Early personal standouts for me included, Lyrics Lie, and Strawberry’s Wake. Three Wishes took me a few listens to really dig into it but I’m now fully here for it. The way Mess and Pearson play devil and angle roles in the lyrics, don’t worry while we get lovey dovey vibes with “Maybe I’m a little crazy but I won’t break your heart” and “I won’t tame you, I won’t fade your shine”, we also get to hear about multiple stab wounds.
But I think I’m most impressed with the work taken on to create Calentamiento Global, where Pearson and the band make a mechanical, tight rock song into a Latin dance number feel with Pearson singing the clean vocals in Spanish. This song is going to be incredible live and I hope the band sees the chance to take the album to live audiences soon, considering the band had to postpone their headline run due to of course Covid-19. The tour currently is scheduled to now happen beginning in August with the incredibly stacked support of Animals as Leaders, Issues and Veil of Maya. Unfortunately Royal Coda couldn’t do the postponed dates but in their place Wolf & Bear will be taking on the task.
The new album is incredibly dynamic and makes for an excellent sonic ride in these times where we don’t get to have that live music element that we love, but alike to the album I wrote about last week with Enter Shikari’s brand new full length, bands are really taking it up a notch and we’re fully here for it. The band could have easily decided to push their album to post Covid-19 quarantine but alike to many bands that decided to not take that route, like Enter Shikari and Boston Manor (May 1st), they are instead providing some serious musical relief and happiness for long time music supporters of all shapes and kinds. Clearly, as this album has now fully put this talented band on my radar. I’m sorry I was late to the party but I’m glad I’m here now.