Thursday 4 July 2019
Storytelling post-hardcore ruminating on death, grief, life and love

Jordan Dreyer of La Dispute defined his scene when he half-jokingly declared his band part of ‘The New Wave of Post-Hardcore’. The ‘wave’ comprised of friends and scene compatriots like Touché Amoré, La Dispute, Title Fight and Pianos Become the Teeth.

Before forming La Dispute, Dreyer was a writer and had never sung with a band. His lyrics and vocal style were a signature of the group from the beginning, often leaning toward the spoken-word style of his written poetry and prose and then moving to arresting half-screams, half-sobs. The music delivers gauzy, frenzied riffs and a swarming rhythm section.

La Dispute’s previous full length, Rooms of the House, is a concept album where a man experiences a catastrophic breakup and is left to figure out what went wrong. Dreyer’s lyrics are rife with prose and poesy.

Their new album, Panorama, is a travelogue of grief and it also asks to be engaged with like a book. On Panorama, La Dispute (again) show themselves to be a tight unit, writing groove after memorable groove. Guitars, bass and drums meld seamlessly, almost with an innate spontaneity.

The Michigan group has won a rabid following with its dire, artful songs.

In concert, fans speak/scream every word back at Dreyer who flails and convulses in front of the mic. The enthusiastic response only makes his already dead-serious tales, chronicling the aftermath of a drive-by shooting in the band’s hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan, or the 2007 I-35W Mississippi River bridge collapse, feel all the more weighty.

Get ready for story time with great emotions and intelligent rock music when La Dispute plays Roskilde Festival 2019.