UK Release October 3rd 2011 on No Sleep Records
La Dispute are a band that pack a punch. ‘Wildlife’ is a non-stop assault on the ears, an album consisting of 14 tracks documenting the struggles of a fictional author, each song portraying either a short story or monologue created by this author. ‘Wildlife’ is a masterpiece.
The first monologue ‘A Departure’ opens the album, creeping in with an atmospheric introduction, followed by Jordan Dreyer’s trademark erratic vocals blasting out. This leads into lead single ‘Harder Harmonies’, a ferocious outburst of powerful drums and At The Drive-In-esque guitars, interrupted by a sudden change of pace before it restarts and returns to its earlier intensity.
‘Edit Your Hometown’ provides a more upbeat sound, yet still tells a tale of struggling, and is followed by the poignant ‘A Letter’, which outlines the innermost feelings of the fictional author, his regrets and analysis on his life’s events.
‘The Most Beautiful Bitter Fruit’ illustrates the author’s inability to participate in casual sex, and explores his reasoning behind it. This could be an incredibly cliché track due to the nature of its content, but the result is passionate and comforting.
As the album reaches it’s halfway point, the mood darkens and events such as accidentally murdering a child (‘King Park’), a schizophrenic attacking his father (‘Edward Benz, 27 Times’), and children dying of cancer (‘I See Everything’). The lyrics to these songs are heartbreaking, and the music perfectly accompanies them, conjuring feelings of despair and loss.
As ‘Wildlife’ closes, ‘all our bruised bodies and the whole heart shrinks’ offers an overview of others’ tragedies, whilst the author questions his capability to cope when times get tough. Final track ‘You and I in Unison’ deals with the authors inability to let the past go, and demonstrates how his previous relationship is still affecting everything he does. The closing line ‘until I die I will sing our names in unison’ offers one of the most heartfelt, desperate sentiments on the album and echoes in the ears long after it has been delivered.
No amount of adjectives can accurately describe the rollercoaster that is ‘Wildlife’. La Dispute are a unique creature in the current scene, a band that have worked their way up, generated a certain level of buzz, and continued to create new, exciting, excellent music. Their combination of spoken word and post-hardcore works, Dreyer’s lyricism is flawless, and La Dispute have produced one of the best albums of the year by far.
Review by Megan Davies