LP Review; Dance Gavin Dance: “Afterburner”

The Album:

After two powerhouse releases in 2016 and 2018, fans were dying for some new tunes from Dance Gavin Dance, and since they seemed to be on a two-year influx, there was hope amongst the crowd for some new music. Then, the band announced their arrival to the scene for 2020, and everyone wasn’t ready for the event that was soon to be known as “Afterburner”. So, let’s dive in and see what this record is all about. This record, from the very start, drives with the aggressive attention to ornate instrumental lines. This balanced with the juxtaposition of sung to screamed vocals will draw audience members in immediately. It is also notable that after one listen to the album, you’ll be humming or singing some part of it because it is that catchy. As one looks closer at the music on the record, it is evident that Dance Gavin Dance was blending their approach from “Mothership” and “Artificial Selection” to bring the masses “Afterburner”. This was a smart choice for the band, for both albums were praised for different reasons because both showcased different musical nuances that were key to their music. When one sits and truly listens to the progression of the tracks, it feels as if the band is telling a story similar to “Artificial Selection”, but the instrumental riffs and lyrical approaches resonate in the light of “Mothership”. In general, Dance Gavin Dance stuck to their guns for this album, and that’s why it works extremely well in the band’s discography. Overall, I would give this album a 4.5 out of 5 stars. I landed on this score because the band provides another strong record that resonates in their original voice.


Top Tracks:

“Calentamiento Global”, “Lyrics Lie”, and “One in a Million”

Even though this record is remarkable as a whole, there are a few songs that drive with an innovative edge while retaining the Dance Gavin Dance brand, and these are those tracks. When one dives into the album, it is apparent that the band’s sound is retained and extrapolated on; however, when listeners approach these selections, they become stuck in their tracks. Every golden rule to the Dance Gavin Dance brand shines throughout each of these top tracks, which makes them easy to attach to. Therefore, if you’re looking for the key moments of ridiculously witty lyrics, over-the-top instrumentals, and wonderful vocal to instrumental juxtaposition: check these selections out.


 The Artwork:

 When looking at the cover art at first glance, viewers are hooked because wow: this is a Dance Gavin Dance album cover. The artwork is intellectually clustered, there is a key middle image of a robotic bull, and the cover, color scheme drives in a sea of red. Let’s dive in and see how the band connected that strong imagery to the music that falls on the inside. The music that is heard throughout the record drives on an aggressive front with small moments of space, which creates lighter moments for the listeners. Additional to the instrumental parts found on the album, it is evident that the band’s characteristic approach to lyrics, vocal lines, and musical themes remains strong. Having selections that drive with this aggressive front meshes well with the red color scheme from the cover, for that bright red tells the audience that the contents on the inside may be aggressive and emotionally intense, and that’s exactly the music that the band provides. Overall, I would say the artwork and the music are both strong on their own, but together, they create an epic holistic experience that is this record.

*”Afterburner” was released on April 24th, 2020 through Rise Records.

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