La Dispute is a band that catches a lot of flak. People tend to jump to conclusions about their “whiney” sound, and the infamous song “Such Small Hands” doesn’t help their case. I myself took early judgment on the band and chose to dislike them. But once I checked my ego at the door and gave Wildlife a real shot, I fell in love.
Jordan Dreyer’s writing on the album is both intricate and personal, however it is this very complexity that almost requires you to listen to the album in seclusion – best through a pair of headphones. The spoken word-like lyrics create an atmosphere that that can be lost otherwise, taking away from your experience.
The album starts off with “a Departure”, and it really sets the tone for the album with a theme of emotional unrest. Then, the songs “Edit Your Hometown” and “Safer in the Forest / Love Song for Poor Michigan” show the energy of the band’s early works yet still maintain the overall new feel. Standouts like “a Letter” and “a Broken Jar” come across as noticeably very personal; this openness allows you to connect with the music on a higher level. Overall the music complements the lyrics quite well and makes it a pleasure to listen to.
There are also songs that offer up hefty narrative. I’m less partial to “I See Everything” because I found that the story was flat throughout. On a record where the writing is the strong point, it makes this a noticeable low. On the other hand, “King Park”, which clocks in at a lengthy 6:55, is almost the polar opposite. It has a multilayered story that will keep you interested as you listen and is worth your while as the song comes to a very satisfying climax. This is the case with the album as a whole; it takes an investment to get the most out of it. This is both good and bad as I can sit down, dive into the music and be entirely content, but if I am in the car with some friends driving from point A to point B, the effect is much different in a negative way.
Wildlife gave me faith in what has come to be known as post-hardcore. Though not without faults, its passion-driven songs resonated with me in a way few things are able to do, and it will keep me coming back to listen.
8.7 / 10
Posted Sept. 17, 2018, 4:28 p.m.
La Dispute have joined the Epitaph roster. The band is expected to release their new label debut in 2019. You can catch the band live this Fall with Circa Survive ...
Posted March 17, 2016, 2:41 p.m.
La Dispute will be releasing the soundtrack to their documentary Tiny Dots this Record Store Day, April 16. The soundtrack will be released on vinyl and also sold digitally. The ...
Posted Oct. 19, 2015, 10:37 a.m.
La dispute's new feature-length documentary, Tiny Dots, is open to pre-order and will release officiall on Nov. 2 (online) and Dev. 4 (in stores). Directed by Niall Coffey, the ...
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