Review by Shannon Shumaker
When Dance Gavin Dance begins an album with a rollercoaster of a track like “We Own The Night,” you know you’re in for a real treat. From the very first note all the way to the very end, Instant Gratification throws listeners through loop after loop. From poppy clean vocals, bass heavy dancable tracks, heavier guitar driven songs that are carried by unclean vocals, and even into some hip-hop breakdowns, Dance Gavin Dance pull out all of the stops with Instant Gratification, and the result is mind blowing.
The band wastes no time in throwing you right into one of the strongest tracks on the album with “We Own The Night.” Starting with simple guitar and gorgeous clean vocals for a few lines, the song almost seems like it’s going to be a slower intro track, but then, in typical Dance Gavin Dance fashion, the full band and unclean vocals come in and make the song come alive. “We Own The Night” has so many layers to it that it’s impossible to choose the strongest aspect of the song. The sweeping bass line and drum work are the backbone for the song, with guitars and screams layered over it, all topped off with poppy clean vocals. Then, just when you think you have the song figured out, it breaks into this funky interlude, carried heavily by insane vocal runs and strong bass work. By the time the second song comes in, I have high hopes for this release, and with good reason.
Dance Gavin Dance are a perfect example of a band who can survive without changing their sound too much with each release, because it’s the little things that make each song and album strong. While Instant Gratification definitely sounds like Dance Gavin Dance (they don’t really go out of their way to do a 180 with their sound on this album) there are little quirks, like the sweeping, intricate almost Fall Of Troy-like guitar work in “Stroke God, Millionaire” that make this album stand out from the pack. On top of that, the clean vocal runs about two thirds through “Stroke God, Millionaire” are amazing (and even mind blowing as Tilian Pearson sings “Baby let me blow your mind”). Instant Gratification is your typical Dance Gavin Dance record, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring by any means. Track after track, they produce jaw dropping guitar hooks, vocal runs and smart songwriting that only Dance Gavin Dance could pull off.
Another great thing about this album is its versatility. “On The Run,” for instance, is carried mostly by guitar and unclean vocals, and is followed by the contrasting track, “Shark Dad,” which begins with a beautiful clean guitar part and high clean vocals. The versatility and Dance Gavin Dance’s ability to switch from one sound to another on this album is mind blowing. The guitar work is intricate and sweeping on “Shark Dad,” and then there are these poppy sounding clean vocal parts that contrast it amazingly. Later in the album, the band also incorporates some rapped vocal parts in “Eagle vs. Crows” which not only caught me off guard, but is also a nice change of pace - it’s nice to see that they’re not afraid to switch things up a bit, and the way that Dance Gavin Dance manage to mesh sounds and make them flow perfectly on this album is amazing.
By the time Instant Gratification comes to a close, it almost leaves you feeling exhausted, and in the best way possible. There isn’t a slow or boring moment on the album - track after track, Dance Gavin Dance pump out high energy, full soundings songs, and the result is incredible. Instant Gratification is sure to become a fan-favorite in no time.
Listen to "We Own The Night" or "Stroke God, Millionaire"