Although the name of the band comes from the language of Molière, La Dispute comes from Michigan, where for more than ten years now and following the example of Touché Amore or Defeater, the band has never stopped evolving its post-hardcore by incorporating touches of jazz, progressive rock, screamo or blues. Indeed, over the past decade, the fathers of the New Wave of Post-Hardcore (or simply “The Wave”) have been building a loyalty to a prophetic, dazzling music that goes beyond the simple framework of song, and should be treated as literature rather than music. Their 2008 debut album, ‘Somewhere At the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair’, remains one of the most unique hardcore albums of the century (yes yes). It featured singer Jordan Dreyer muttering, hooting and heckling anachronistic lyrics inspired by Annabel Lee, Joanna Newsom, Kurt Vonnegut and Japanese folklore, while the band dabbled in jazz, screamo, prog-rock and spoken word. At once wildly pretentious and unadorned, it’s a rare document of a band with no expectations, no precedents, and unchecked ambition.
Now, five years after a terrific ‘Rooms Of The House’, La Dispute continue their wanderings with ‘Panorama’, the post-hardcore band’s fourth album released in 2019 and first on Epitaph Records. In 10 years of hard work and again with this other opus, the Americans remind us that they have been able to broaden their palette and offer ambitious works, with a certain propensity to conceive each album as a collection of fiction. In this idea of storytelling, the thread of “Panorama” focuses on the road that Jordan Dreyer and his partner travel between their respective homes in Grand Rapids and Lowell, Michigan. The deaths and tragedies along the way are opportunities for the singer to recount slices of life and to reflect on the relationships between men and women.
Between poignant spoken word and contained rage, Jordan Dreyer’s vocal range has never really positioned itself to best modulate the emotions and give a unique phrasing that captures attention. With quality being the name of the game, it’s hard not to get caught up in the poetry inherent in the world of La Dispute and that evocative power that constantly engages our imagination. “Panorama’ skilfully and subtly slips into a kind of catharsis. So come and be liberated by La Dispute’s tour, which will include a visit to the Orangery to celebrate their 2011 flagship album, ‘Wildlife’. An opportunity to re-discover the post-hardcore gem that is already celebrating its 12th birthday.