REVIEW: Dance Gavin Dance – ‘Acceptance Speech’

Acceptance Speech

Artist: Dance Gavin Dance
Album: Acceptance Speech
Genre: Post hardcore
Label: Rise Records

Believe it or not, Tilian Pearson was around long before he joined forces with Dance Gavin Dance. He started off in a little known band called Tides Of Man back in 2008. While he was with the group, they released two full length albums. Shortly after the release of their sophomore album in 2010, Tilian parted ways with the group. Supposedly it was because he was moving to be in Saosin, which actually never worked out. They recorded a song together, but nothing more came of that.

In August 2012 both Jonny Craig and Dance Gavin Dance confirmed that he would no longer be a part of the group. It seemed like they were done for good. They decided to do one final tour, and take Tilian Pearson along with them to front the group. During the tour, they announced that Pearson would permanently replace Craig on vocals. That’s when the beautiful relationship began.

Being a fan of DGD’s previous work, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Acceptance Speech. Only a day after the album was officially announced the group premiered the first single, which of course was “The Robot With Human Hair Pt. 4.” It was an instant hit for me. Everything about the first section of the song sounded exactly like what you would expect from the newest installment of a fan favorite series. When Tilian comes in, his vocals fit perfectly. It sounds like he was meant to play with this band all along.

The album has a lot of surprises planted into a number of the songs. Instead of the generic scream / sing / scream / sing, etc., the band throws in a few memorable elements to keep things interesting. The title track is a good example of some verses added in at the end. Some of the last few verses highlight Tilian’s vocal range (let’s be honest, most of them do), and at the very end of the song there’s a short rap.

“Demo Team” is easily my favorite song. When I’m listening to the album I listen to this song three or four times before I move on to the next track. While each song has its own unique qualities, this song stands alone as far as sound overall. You can tell by the intro of the song that it’s something different. It’s catchy, and Jon Mess and Tilian have a great dynamic going on.

I could sit here and talk about every single track and what I like about them. The best way to get a full understanding of the musicianship put into Acceptance Speech though, is for you to listen to the whole thing for yourself. There are some Jonny Craig fans who don’t like the album simply because Jonny isn’t at the helm. Bands change their sound all of the time, and there are plenty of groups out there whose fanbase wasn’t happy about changing the frontman at first (The Word Alive, Blessthefall, Escape The Fate) but are now totally fine with the change.

Acceptance Speech is the album every fan of Dance Gavin Dance has been waiting for, and there is literally nothing about this album that I don’t like. Tilian nailed it, Dance Gavin Dance nailed it, and I hope they stay together for a long time (and keep nailing it).

SCORE: 10/10
Review written by Kriston McConnell

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