Album Review: La Dispute – ‘Rooms of the House’

La Dispute are about nostalgia, introspection, relationships and the severed bonds of Love or those bonds that actually do have an affinity for each other. Vocalist Jordan Dreyer’s emotional tomes dip in and out of aggressive fits of fervor as well as into jousts of calm poetry in motion. Rooms of the House is steeped in all these elements and while they diverge a bit toward a more composed, pieced together melodic drive, the sound here still has all the right flavors that you loved to ingest. It’s earnest, heartfelt and connects each character in the record to you in a most resonating manner.

“HUDSONVILLE MI 1956” paints their usual magic but indicates to the listeners just how much they should anticipate the record to shift in and out of sounds. Waves of post-punk and post-hardcore mix as per usual but there’s a sense of fulfillment beckoning as the guys experiment in waves dancing in and out of various sounds. Their sonic outlay is recognizable but it’s apparent how much they shift things up. “For Mayor In Splitsville” pans out with the aforementioned shift as it eases into a poppish, simplistic vibe that highlights just how polished the record is even in its DIY ebb and flow. It’s not the most intricate thing you’d usually expect but it simmers well.

Dreyer seems more mature yet packed with the same anxiety in his lyrical content and as the past dictates, this is great energy to feed off. “Stay Happy There” swarms you with post-hardcore drama as it speaks about how much objects matter, haunt and affect people, when their loved ones disappear, for whatever reason. It’s not even a concept record but more an anecdote. In fact, it’s an experience which is what they do so well. There’s the old-school nuance yet the steps forward the band wants to take. There are little sprinkles of wordspeak placed from time to time but overall, the direction they’re going in is profound as usual, but seems more certain a sound. It’s still part of The Wave but seems more self-assured.

3.5 / 5 Stars

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