La Dispute – Rooms of the House


All the motions of ordinary love
They grow and change

It’s been a long way coming, and after post-hardcore-the-wave masterpiece “Wildlife” it was never going to be an easy one. When last year the first video surfaced showing the band dismantling the wooden remains of the album cover artwork, blogs, fans and everyone that had ever heard of the band started buzzing. Something new was coming. La Dispute were back.


La Dispute always had that sense of great storytelling. Lyrics played an important part in their music and that hasn’t changed on their new record. Jordan Dryer is a great observer, and a poet in translating everyday stories into songs. “Rooms of the House” makes no exception with that. I would argue that the stories told by Dryer and excellently transcribed musically by the band, would be a lot different when the band would not be from a small town but the big apple for instance. Songs such as “Stay Happy There” or “Scenes From Highways…” are breathing small town America, and this an art. The songs on this record would make a great soundtrack for the staged photographs of Gregory Crewdson! They are never happy stories, and not obviously negative. They tend to carry a sense of malaise, emphasized by the music.

I felt ashamed that I’d stayed in my head in the same place for so long

On Rooms of the House the band ventures further into atmospheric territory. The songs are breathing and pulsating even more than on Wildlife. But they haven’t lost any bit of their allurement. They open the window to a house. A house full of drama, heartache, memories and poetry. This is one of its biggest qualities. It’s not an album that just plays to the rules in the hardcore book. La Dispute have long outgrown the Wave trademark. They are far more open. While Touché Amoré, their brothers in mind, just started to break out of their own skin with last year’s “Is Survived By”, La Dispute are not afraid of calm breaks. Jordan Dryer may have lost a bit of urgency in his voice, but this suits the new songs really well. Rooms of the House is one of the most diversified hardcore records to date. And therefore a worthy follow up record!

Rooms of the House is out now via Staple Records (US) and Big Scary Monsters (EU). Buy your copy here (US) or here (EU).

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