Michigan quintet La Dispute have always stood out, with a huge online following among the hardcore scenes on sites like Tumblr and Twitter. Their music consists of hard hitting, emotional and powerful lyrics combined with a strong, heavy instrumental backing.
Their latest effort, Rooms Of The House is an 11-track studio album released on the bands own label, Better Living. The album is a narrative following a fictional couple as their relationship disintegrates – dealing in abstract themes and delivered in the vocalist’s (Jordan Dreyer) signature spoken-word vocal style.
The collective sound of the album isn’t entirely different, but there are some changes both production-wise and lyrically (in a good way, of course). “The challenge with this record became trying to do more with less, so I think from a musical and lyrical standpoint, that’s something that will stand out to listeners.” says Dreyer.
The album shows someone stepping back into ordinary everyday interactions – using the way objects and rooms (in a particular house – thus the album name Rooms of the House) continue to hold onto meanings and memories long after the couple have gone separate ways following a collapsing relationship.
“You have all these ordinary things in your life that develop their own history in the memories you share with another person and once you lose that person, all of those things continue to remain.” he explains. “The album started out being about a fictional couple and then over time it developed into more of a sweeping narrative about common space and history and about the history of objects. What happens to them after things dissolve, how they end up being re appropriated into something else.”
Like their other releases, La Dispute tend to pick very specific album art and order the tracks in a certain way to tie together the meaning of the album. With Rooms of the House, the album art was based on the track ‘Objects In Space’ and the idea of a group of objects coming together to have some kind of greater meaning in their curation.
Upon first listen, the album sounds slightly less impressive compared to Wildlife, and as a whole Wildlife is (in this reviewer’s opinion) the lyrically superior of the two. However, after hitting repeat a few times, the record really seems to come together and it is very clear how everything ties in with each other. Listening to it inside and out a few times is the only way to ultimately understand the vision and aim the band were going for with this release, and once you understand it, it really seems to work well.
“We’re proud of this record because, through years of playing music together, we’ve found our own musical identity together and I think it’s a true representation of that.” Dreyer summarizes. “It’s liberating to be able to share it, and just a lot of fun.”
Rooms of the House is out on 18th March, and can be ordered now via iTunes.