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La Dispute - Wildlife (Cover Artwork)

La Dispute

La Dispute: WildlifeWildlife (2011)
No Sleep Records

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:


Contributed by: evanispunxevanispunx
(others by this writer | submit your own)

You either love the hell out of this band or you don't get the hype. If you don't get the hype, don't bother reading this review. Just get to the shit talking. Where do I begin. La Dispute is very important to me. I was introduced to their music through the singer of my current band over a year a.
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You either love the hell out of this band or you don't get the hype. If you don't get the hype, don't bother reading this review. Just get to the shit talking.

Where do I begin. La Dispute is very important to me. I was introduced to their music through the singer of my current band over a year ago. I was immediately hooked. Their sound is reminiscent of mewithoutYou, Fugazi and At The Drive-In just to name a few. The combination of influences fit the band well and they seemed to be already so comfortable with their own sound in their first full length, Somewhere At The Bottom Of The River Between Vega And Altair. Repeated listens to that record revealed it to be a work of art and something to be returned to. It was a meaningful piece with shining lyrics and creative musicianship. I didn't think the band had it in them to top it.

I was wrong. So wrong.

Wildlife is a totally different La Dispute experience. It could frighten older fans of the band at first because it is considerably darker than their past work. The only thing I could compare anything on this record to that the band recorded prior is "Why It Scares Me" from the Touche Amore split. Be warned, this record is not for the faint of heart. If you could relate to anything that Jordan spoke of in their past works, this record will click with you. Lyrically anyway. Jordan's lyrics are designed in different forms of poetry and prose. His spoken word style delivery isn't totally original considering their influences, but he definitely has his own spin of things and his volume range is ridiculous.

Anyway, on to the record. "A Departure" opens the record flawlessly. Listen to the lyrics of this song and you will understand what the rest of the record is about essentially. "I know I never used to feel like this / I used to never think of death or hear voices / I felt that everything was perfectly in order / a normal life / I guess then came a departure." This song musically, to me, can only be compared to At the Drive-In. The drums are creative and smooth, and the guitars set the stage for the rest of the record as well. The band used a "no artificial reverb" rule during the recording of this record. They used only room acoustics to create the atmospheres.

"Harder Harmonies" immediately reminds me of the band's older material. The riffage is excellent and the guitars flow excellently with Jordan and the rhythm section. This song softly fades out in the middle and the guitars shine. Eventually the song fades out as Jordan hollers, "There's a melody in everything / I'm trying to find the harmony but nothing seems to work / Nothing seems to fit."

There are so many wonderful tracks on this record I'm going to have to limit myself to my personal standouts from here on in. "A Letter" is a very personal song for Jordan lyrically. It's easy to relate to his sense of loss and distaste for the world around him. "Everybody wants a reason for everything / It's always easier with something or someone to blame." The guitars in this song sound almost midwest-emo-influenced. Lyrically this is one of the standout tracks of the record. Flawless. "Do I feel embarrassed about it? / I think you know the answer to that / You'd probably feel a little embarrassed for me, wouldn't you?...Looking back maybe I never tried hard enough / And it is my fault / Maybe I never tried at all."

"The Most Beautiful Bitter Fruit" is the only song on the record I could consider "fun." It is a love song about growing up and young sexuality. The instrumentals are subtly poppy but in a good way. The do cite Third Eye Blind as an influence and have been known to cover them. Jordan puts indescribable things into words like no one can. "No love, no life, no history / Just touch, just chemistry... It's a moment / Harmless, it's energy / It's like medicine / It's self-discovery."

The final two standout tracks are stories that Jordan tells very vividly and accurately with his lyrics. The first of the two is called "King Park." Musically this could be the most intense song on the record. The drums and the guitars stand out, and the intensity falls in and out until the very end. This song, lyrically, is almost uncomfortable to hear. But that was Jordan's intention. It is about a shooting that involved a young boy that was accidentally killed. The lyrics go on to tell how the shooter holds himself up in a hotel, threatening to end his life. The song ends with "Then they heard him speak / 'Can I still get into Heaven if I kill myself? / Can I still get into heaven if I kill myself? / Can I ever be forgiven cause I killed that kid? / It was an accident I swear it wasn't meant for him / Can I still get into heaven if I kill myself?' / I leave the hotel behind, don't want to know how it ends." I'll leave you with that. Listen to it for yourself, but like I've said, this record is not for the faint of heart.

The next is called "Edward Benz, 27 Times." It is about a man Jordan met whose son is schizophrenic. His son eventually quits taking his medication due to them making him sleep too often. The man comes home one night to his wife locked out of the house. The man unlocks the door, to find his son manic and totally unaware that it is his father and not a stranger breaking into the house. The man attacks his father with a knife. Leaving several scars on his arms. "Went into the hall / His son held a knife standing off in the shadows / Lunged forward and tackled him / Stabbing him over and over and breaking that window."

These two songs I mentioned because they sum up a similar themes. No suffering should be planned. There is no "need" for suffering. It is almost Jordan's personal atheistic message.

This band is amazingly talented group of dudes and I can't wait to catch these songs live. They played their final house show ever with my band a year ago and it was one of the greatest nights of my life. I will always remember La Dispute.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Touché Amoré - Parting the Sea Between Brightness and MeThe Menzingers - On the Impossible PastThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundDefeater - Empty Days & Sleepless NightsThe Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsHot Water Music - ExisterThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimLa Dispute - Somewhere at the Bottom of the River Between Vega and AltairPianos Become The Teeth - The Lack Long AfterThe Horrible Crowes - Elsie

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
SwissCheese (March 13, 2012)

I'm confused with the comparisons to Limp Bizkit and Fred Durst some people on here are making...I'm not hearing it whatsoever, but then again, i don't hate on a band because of a lil hype or popularity. Have to listen to this album a little more, seems pretty good so far.

lowaction (December 11, 2011)

I think that I am a little biased since I have been a fan of them for a while. This album just doesn't do it for me. It doesn't speak to me as much as Somewhere at the Bottom did. Good album, but they can and have done better.

kylekrische19 (December 8, 2011)

This is the best record of 2011.

gugl0003 (November 22, 2011)

This shit stomps people's teeth in it's so good. excellent work.

keithybobeefy (November 13, 2011)

Driving on a highway at 2 in the morning while listening to "King Park" is a pretty great time.

evanPGH (November 5, 2011)

If you can't take criticism, don't write a review. Telling everyone to suck it because they didn't find your extremely biased review helpful is pretty childish.

I also though the Touche Amore tattoo comment was a bit weird, bashing someone about liking another wave band doesn't seem to make much sense.

Also, why in the hell did you end the review with "Edward Benz"? You can't tell me "You and I in Unison" isn't one of their best songs. Just sayin'.

peheme (October 25, 2011)

This is no durst-shit. Absolutly love it. They lack a little bit of their sound in show though, this might improves in the future, but I enjoy their music better while I'm working at home than in a show. Can't say the same thing about how TA delivers the rage. Still, I love this band!

Michael_Jackson_Jordan (October 24, 2011)

Rght, because getting a tattoo of a band who are really good friends with La Dispute is going to say a lot about someone... I bet this band probably doesn't even know you exist.

evanispunx (October 24, 2011)

Look, all of you can suck it. I guarantee you I can speak for this band better than any of you. Go get another fucking Touche Amore tattoo.

blanktapesemptybottles (October 24, 2011)

they purposefully wrote a more straight forward record, the singer was actually involved with the music this time, usually the wrote and he just figured out how to sing over it, if you don't listen to king park and get chills you might not be human

Michael_Jackson_Jordan (October 24, 2011)

"There's writing a review with a bit of personal reflection and then there's this...You're not going to win over fans, or even validate your current opinion if you basically start a review with, "I love this band, they mean a lot to me and fuck the haters." I'm not against La Disupute but if you truly enjoy a record it deserves more thought than that."

Wholeheartedly agree. Also, ending with these lines was pretty unnecessary in that they come off reading more like a giddy fanboy than someone who went into listening to the review open to any possible flaws regardless of their bias toward the band: "This band is amazingly talented group of dudes and I can't wait to catch these songs live. They played their final house show ever with my band a year ago and it was one of the greatest nights of my life. I will always remember La Dispute. "

God, that last line especially is just terrible. It sounds like a sentence I would have written to conclude a 2nd grade book report.

xherojuanax (October 23, 2011)

The thing that bugs me most about this review is that it unnecessarily spoils "King Park" and "Edward Benz." The songs are narratives. The songs hit so much harder when you don't know where they're going to end up.

joeg (October 21, 2011)

do you write their press releases too?

R3vengeTherapy (October 21, 2011)

The reviewer kept saying that the lyrics aren't for the faint of heart, yet not a single line he pulled from this record sounded all that intense or challenging in the least. It actually comes off as theatrical to me for some reason. Maybe it comes through more when you hear the vocals instead of reading the lyrics...but I can't listen to this band, I hate it. I like to see what people are saying about hyped records though. And the review didn't make me interested in trying to listen to this record because of the general attitude of putting them on a pedestal right out of the gate. Nothing makes me want to stop reading a review than the reviewer confessing how much he/she loves said band.

eatdogs (October 21, 2011)

""You make believe that nothing is wrong until you're cryin' (Cryin'), cryin' on me and you make believe that life is so long until you're dyin' (Dyin'), dyin' on me"

"i'm insane can't complain, flush you turds down the drain."

holy_balls (October 21, 2011)

do they still sound like limp bizkit?

evanispunx (October 21, 2011)

:[

overdefined (October 21, 2011)

Comment below me is a proper review.

evanPGH (October 21, 2011)

While the review is a little praising, it's also very thorough and gives you a good idea of what to expect.

This is an album that you either love or hate and one that requires several listens to get a hold of everything that's going on; it's a lot to take in. It's very different than their first full length but is a solid album in it's own right. If you're new to La Dispute, start with "Somewhere at the Bottom...".

I will say that their previous effort is better overall just out of personal preference, but "Wildlife" is a beautiful album that transcends many different moods and experiences. Lyrically, it's almost perfect. Musically, it's a departure from their heavier hitting debut full length and puts a melodic spin on things.

Have a listen, as the reviewer said, it's not for everyone. If the style and presentation of "Wildlife" does strike a chord with you, you're not likely to be disappointed.

Dante3000 (October 21, 2011)

There's writing a review with a bit of personal reflection and then there's this...You're not going to win over fans, or even validate your current opinion if you basically start a review with, "I love this band, they mean a lot to me and fuck the haters." I'm not against La Disupute but if you truly enjoy a record it deserves more thought than that.

colin (October 21, 2011)

this record is so amazing. probably not better than "david comes to life" but as far as epic records go, it's up there.

xherojuanax (October 21, 2011)

It's good overall, but it's nowhere near as exciting as Somewhere or the Untitled 7". The reduction of the experimental dynamics is a major bummer, and the lyrics are surprisingly subpar in places (I hate to say it, but "A Letter" could have been extracted from a teenager's Live Journal page).

eatdogs (October 21, 2011)

la bradford
la cacahouette
la clef
la conia
la corde
la familia torelli
la fraction
la la vasquez
la magna
la makita soma
la monte young
la motta
la pieta
la piovra
la plebe
la quiete
la revancha
la roux
la ruda salska
la salle
la sera
la souris déglinguée
la toska
la ultima canción del mundo
la uvi
la verite
la vieja guardia
la voz

overdefined (October 21, 2011)

"La Dispute is very important to me. "

Grow some balls and write a review with some perspective other than straight fawning. This band will let you down eventually.

Blackjaw_ (October 21, 2011)

Totally forgot Limp Bizkit was putting out a new one this year.

preston (October 21, 2011)

This is the Fred Durst side-project, right?

danperrone (October 21, 2011)

the hype for this band is literally out of control. i guess i am just not a fan of talkcore.

kursk64 (October 21, 2011)

Awesome record. Some of the lyrics give me chills.

laserguidedbygod (October 21, 2011)

Next time, I don't want to have to wade through the semen pond that is your life story with La Dispute.

evanispunx (October 21, 2011)

As I said in the review, Jordan's lyrics are very personal. I understand some members of the band may be religious.

shokkd (October 21, 2011)

what sawdonkey said

sawdonkey (October 21, 2011)

I really like the last one but I can't get into this. It just doesn't have the vocal hooks. Nothing makes me want to scream along like when I yell "TONIGHT WE RIDE."

I'll give it a few more spins, but I'm underwhelmed so far. I hope I'm wrong.

stagedivecity (October 21, 2011)

I really like this record a lot. I can understand not being able to get behind the vocals but I really enjoy his style.

Also good review but I wouldn't assume that the message of this record is an atheistic one. I've heard from multiple people that some of the members are christians.

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