Mothership is the Mother of All Post-Hardcore Records


If you thought Dance Gavin Dance’s instrumentals could not get any more head-dizzying, singing any more harmonious, or lyrics any more outrageous, the band’s newest record effectively proves otherwise. Mothership, released on October 7, is the product of the endless improvements Dance Gavin Dance has made since its conception in 2005. The release of the album’s first single, “Chucky vs. The Giant Tortoise,” blasted listeners back to the era of Downtown Battle Mountain, but with a new and subtle unfamiliarity. While Mothership still maintains the classic Dance Gavin Dance sound – defined by its emphasis on intricate guitar riffs, the intense melodic dichotomy in the vocals, and an ample amount of the double-bass pedal – it highlights the progressive changes the band has undergone as well. After the band booted, reunited with, and again booted lead vocalist Jonny Craig, fans were feeling uneasy with the introduction of the new vocalist, Tillian Pearson, in 2013 album Acceptance Speech. However, the release of Mothership has made clear that Dance Gavin Dance has continued owning their sound without Craig in the mix. Pearson’s unique vocal range brings a refreshing dynamic to the band’s original tune.

There is no question that Mothership features lyrics that perpetuate Dance Gavin Dance’s reputation as raw and unapologetic. Each line has us wishing we could sing with the same ability as Pearson (not that that will stop us from belting out every one anyway). Although the album is filled with one jam after the other, there are a few noteworthy songs to bring to the spotlight:

  1. “Flossie Dickey Bounce”

“Flossie Dickey Bounce” solidifies that not only has Dance Gavin Dance kept up with their absurd song titles, but also their absurd lyrics. What does “I’ll just walk around the city telling chickens that I’m pretty,” even mean, anyway?

  1. “Deception”

Pearson’s soft-sung lines in the middle of this song are so gently performed that you hardly recognize just how stinging they are.

  1. “Exposed”

The outro of “Exposed” is the quintessential Dance Gavin Dance outro. The complex instrumentals weaved with the melodious sound of Pearson’s voice is just as classic as it is mesmerizing.

  1. “Chocolate Jackalope”

The guitar riff in the intro of “Chocolate Jackalope” is undoubtedly one of Dance Gavin Dance’s most impressive. It has a strong AC/DC vibe that mixes interestingly with the comically out-of-place “Hotline Bling” quip in the lyrics.

  1. “Betrayed by the Game”

“Betrayed by the Game” is one of those rare songs in which Dance Gavin Dance uncovers its vulnerable side. The desperation in these lyrics is uncommon and that makes them all the more notable.

Do yourself a favor and do not limit yourself to these five songs. Every song on this album deserves a listen (or more than a few listens). Definitely take the time to appreciate the progress Dance Gavin Dance has made and get entangled in the complex sound they continue to shape.

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