Dance Gavin Dance proves worthy of attention with ‘Mothership’

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, October 12th, 2016 at 11:28 PM
Dance Gavin Dance proves worthy of attention with ‘Mothership’ by Britton Rozzelle

I had assumed going into “Mothership” that it was going to be a dry slog of an album, with nothing particularly noteworthy or interesting on it. I anticipated a death knell from the band, but instead I was treated with a unique, but true-to-form album from the band who hasn’t sounded this good since their self titled back in 2009.

Starting off with the bombastic “Chucky vs. The Giant Tortoise,” “Mothership” is immediately something worth paying attention to. It wastes no time getting into that (at this point) classic Dance Gavin Dance sound. “Young Robot,” is probably one of the best songs from the band since their first album and is a hugely fun, funkinspired affair that drew me in.

“Frozen One” follows up the fun vibes from “Young Robot,” marking an odd contrast between their newer, experimental sound and something that would have fit cleanly on their self titled. Meanwhile, “Flossie Dickey Bounce” can only be described as an assaulting wall of sound. It hops all over the place — from synth hooks to squealing guitars and rhythmic bass — completely disabling any ability to grasp what’s actually going on with this song, eventually even mellowing out.

The song transforms into “Deception,” another song that, if you like Dance Gavin Dance at all, will feel homey. For “Deception,” the band pulls back the shouting and relies more on the talent of every member of the band, specifically Tillian Pearson’s vocals that finally feel right at the head of this group. “Inspire the Liars” comes after, hitting hard with Will Swan’s almost masterful guitar work that, somehow, transforms into a
multi-layered epic by the end.

“Philosopher King” is probably the most “hardcore” of the songs on the album and may turn some away, but within those resonant guitar and drums is an incredibly well produced and well paced song that quickly became a favorite. “Here Comes The Winner” continues with more of the same, sporting strong vocals and energetic instrumentals.

“Exposed” lacks the bombastic nature of the previous few songs, but serves pretty well as an all-around solid jam, if not particularly memorable compared to songs like “Young Robot.” “Betrayed by the Game” feels the same way, not doing anything particularly exciting, but sounding like the most likely to be a radio-played single.

“Petting Zoo Justice” is almost metal in composition and song structure. It’s a fun listen if nothing else, while “Chocolate Jackalope” seems to start off with a cover of “Cliffs of Dover” and becomes a song that wouldn’t feel out of place with “Instant Gratification” from 2014.

The album ends with “Man of the Year,” a sweeping epic that bounces from band era to band era, mixing all their influences and sounds into one song to pretty favorable results.

Ultimately, Dance Gavin Dance’s new album isn’t going to be for everyone. If you’re going to give them a chance, “Mothership” presents one of the strongest offerings and best examples of their talent thus far in the band’s career. Standout tracks: “Young Robot” and “Philosopher 

Britton Rozzelle is the Executive Editor of The Spectator and can be reached at

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