La Dispute blew into Richmond, Virginia face punching concert-goers with their experimental hardcore music. The five-piece from Grand Rapids, Michigan has developed an ever-evolving sound that is distinctly theirs. Their music is dazzling, prophetic, treated like literature out of a Shakespearean novel rather than music.
Five years after the most recent record, La Dispute released Panorama. This is their most user-friendly release; it asks of all to be engaged with it like a book. Those familiar with the band won’t be taken back that it’s intense, at times overwhelming. Highlighting "Anxiety Panorama" and "There You Are," as they build tons of tension with Jordan’s vocals with lyrics being delivered over thinly distributed guitars, while building intensity. Jordan’s vocals were top notch, his stage prescience is phenomenal; not one instrument was overbearing, drowning out the vocals. The instruments worked in perfect harmony and working in sync with each other, playing off of each other while adding a luster of sounds that billowed through the venue.
Three songs in and Jordan blurted out "RICHMOND, Virginia how the hell have you been? It’s been awhile.." The crowd responded with a HELL YEA….Which sealed the crowd’s fate, as Jordan was about to immobilize the crowd with his rhythmic flow of words and snazzy dance moves. "YOU ASCENDANT" ends the album with a skill set that the band has developed over the last decade. The bass drops atop tapping drum beats with a tang from an acoustic guitar, as the intensity builds one would expect the song to explode into a climatic ending; did the song deny listeners from a normal Dreyer ending? NO, instead Dreyer takes you on a 7 min 16 second lyrical journey where he speaks softly drawing you in. Your mind succumbs to his words, you close your eyes, you follow along on this journey feeling each and every lyric Dreyer is speaking of.
The once “scene” kids have grown up in the last decade, have evolved into masterful storytellers.
View From Our Bedroom Window / The Most Beautiful Bitter Fruit / Footsteps at the Pond / HUDSONVILLE, MI 1956 / Fulton Street II / How I Feel / Why It Scares Me / Rhodonite and Grief / Anxiety Panorama / For Mayor in Splitsville / All Our Bruised Bodies and the Whole Heart Shrinks / There You Are (Hiding Place) / The Last Lost Continent / You Ascendant