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Album Review: Rooms of The House by La Dispute

La Dispute, the post hardcore band from Michigan released their superb third album Rooms of the House on the 18th March 2014. It’s a rousing blend of impassioned vocals with cutting and at times brutal guitars.

It’s vital to note at this juncture that La Dispute aren’t your average post hardcore band. Granted, you have that distinctive hardcore style vocal but it’s refined. You’ll notice how at many stages it lulls back to a near spoken word whisper. Likewise there is a maturity to the music, especially the guitars, which many of their contemporaries abandon for brutality.

Album opener ‘Hudsonville MI 1956’ encapsulates all the moods of La Dispute. It soars through the frantic and the refined. ‘First Reactions After Falling Through The Ice’ is an altogether more frantic affair, launching straight into crushing guitars before it takes a small interlude. The guitar playing is a joy. Being the only track on the album clocking in less than 3 minutes, it packs a serious punch and leaves a lasting impression.

La Dispute are like a vintage wine. With every album you’ll notice a new maturity and a new level of song writing. ‘Woman (in mirror)’ is a fine example of how the band have developed into a realm far grander than plain post hardcore. ‘Woman (in mirror)’ is gentle and meandering, an ode to the fairer sex. ‘Scenes from Highways’ brings things back to a harder course, but there’s something different here. It almost sounds like a pop song. The structure is more conventional with its verse / chorus / verse, and it works brilliantly.

‘For Mayor in Splitsville’ again shows the more mature side of La Dispute, the pure aggression is once again abandoned in favour of structure and focus on penning a really great track. It’s the stand out track of Rooms of The House.

The cutting edge aggression returns sporadically throughout ‘35’ complementing the overall laid back nature, ironically ‘Stay Happy There’ conveys no happiness whatsoever yet displays a fantastically written hardcore track.

‘Woman (reading)’ is similar to its (in mirror) namesake, gently guiding you towards the raucous finish. Album closer ‘Extraordinary Dinner Party’ contains some of the best guitar work of the entire album.

La Dispute are a cut above their post hardcore contemporaries and Rooms of The House enforces this view.

AD rating: 7/10

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