La Dispute are quite possibly the best story tellers of all time. The post-hardcore band from Grand Rapids, Michigan excels at painting an incredibly vivid picture of a scene mostly through their lyrics and some amazing accompaniments for those lyrics. The Rooms of the House is another album that tells a connected narrative with each new track. By doing so, it feels less like an album and more of a novel chronicling various life experience. The album is the product of the band members staying in a cabin in Michigan and writing about their experiences. A book was also released along side the album detailing of the process of making the album. Is this new story as good as their previous ones or will it collect dust on a bookshelf?
The band’s last album Wildlife is one of my favorite albums of all time as well as being incredibly depressing and emotional. It sets the bar quite high for the bands future and when I heard La Dispute was releasing a new album I couldn’t imagine how they could top Wildlife or where they’d even go with a new album. The Rooms of the House takes a step in the different direction but it is a welcome change.
The Rooms of the House has tracks that follow the same formula as tracks from previous albums but also contains tracks that slow things down both lyrically and instrumentally. Tracks such as “Women (in mirror)” are much slower and more docile overall than tracks like, “Stay Happy There”, which are loud and fast. No matter what speed, each song brings strong emotions. The overall sound of The Rooms of the House is much more approachable and provides new listeners with a taste of what’s in store if they explore La Disputes other releases.
I personally think this was a move in the right direction. When I first listened to Wildlife I wanted to tell everyone about how great it was and that they should listen to it as soon as possible. The only thing that stopped me from doing this was the style of the album. Not everyone enjoys songs about death and other depressing topics accompanied by heavy and fast instrumentation. I’d definitely recommend this album to long time fans of La Dispute as well as first timers for the band.
Overall, The Rooms of the House meets the expectations set by the bands previous releases and well as bringing something new to the table and opening new doors for the bands future. La Dispute definitely has a promising future and I look forward to their next release being even more experimental and amazing.
Tracks to check out: 1-11
Recommended If You Like: Pianos Become the Teeth, Mansions
Review by Ethan Carney