Dance Gavin Dance has a distinct sound cultivated but what offsets their overall range and musical scope is the revolving door of lead singers. Jonny Craig and Kurt Travis have both lent positives musically to the band but what is DGD’s definitive sound? Downtown Battle Mountain I seems the best bet. Hedging those bets, it’s safe to say Tilian Pearson steps up to the plate and does a more than accommodating job on ‘Acceptance Speech’.
“Jesus H. Macy” is what Pearson uses to mimic Craig and appease old-school die-hards. His soft, clean and reaching vocals protrude at every nook and cranny a la Craig and fixate themselves so genuinely to DGD’s new output. Enriching Will Swan’s swift guitars is no easy feat but Pearson’s up to the task. While the album’s narrative feels a bit stretched all over the place, Matt Mingus’ cracking, pounding and thunderous drums act as the perfect foil to Jon Mess’ yelps. Both are in fine form and fashion. “Carve” takes a more hardcore turn to emphasize this and it does so well. Both vocalists play off each other succinctly and with precision.
Leaving the record mired in complexity is something that thankfully is left off the cards and it shows on the catchier and easier-to-guzzle tracks like “The Jiggler” and “Honey Revenge”. Pearson usurps the concepts of cynicism and spices in bits of dark humor. Pearson’s affinity for his Tides Of Man delivery is well attenuated and fine-tuned to what DGD wants and what they need as a band to progress. Making a perfect record’s beyond expectations but having Swan, Mess and Pearson link so well bodes amazingly for the future.
As the self-titled track indicates, Acceptance Speech is a missive for fans to forget the DGD of old and embrace the new. Bring new followers. DGD has a special, fresh message to deliver and they’ve set a fire that we should take note of.