Review: La Dispute, “Rooms Of The House”
La Dispute is a five piece post-hardcore act from Michigan that have long been looked at for their ability to create music that is more than just what is on the surface. Each and every record they have put out has felt more like a short story/collection of short stories set to incredibly well thought out, well placed, and incredibly well crafted music. It’s no secret that one of the biggest draws to their work is that they write from a fictional standpoint and still manage to pour an insane amount of power and emotion into their delivery. This record does not disappoint.
Rooms Of The House showcases some of Dreyer’s most concise, and possibly his best songwriting. Unlike the tracks on the Wildlife, each of these feels like a smaller piece of something bigger. This also becomes evident just by taking a look at the song lengths on this record, which are noticeably shorter on this release than they have been on any of it’s predecessors. Each of the songs also features its own little Easter Egg of sorts, in which Dreyer will repeat a line or phrase from a previous track, immediately giving these songs a strong sense of fluidity and connectivity. This creates a timeline of sorts that allows you to go through the album in that manner. You literally start at the first track and end with the closer.
That’s not to say that they fail as standalone tracks. I constantly find myself going immediately to Woman (In Mirror), Stay Happy There, and Extraordinary Dinner Party just because of much I love them. Woman (In Mirror) is so soft-spoken and mellow, its hard to not become completely entranced by it and slowly become entranced by all the motions of ordinary love. Stay Happy There was the first single released from Rooms Of The House and it just sounds like a La Dispute song. The delivery is so intense and emotive, and lyrically it serves as a big part of the climax/falling out that we’ve been leading up to this whole time. Then, we’re given Extraordinary Dinner Party. This track shows off a poppier, more melodic sound and does so without flaw. If this is what La Dispute was going to be doing from here on out, I would not complain.
This record is gentle where it needs to be, and completely gut-wrenching in the same respect. The combination of musicianship and lyricism is what truly makes this record shine. The best comparison I can draw is that to the score of a movie. Both do such a phenomenal job of capturing the pain of heartbreak, presenting it to us, and making us feel it. Believe me when I say that this record will have no trouble creeping under your skin.