Dance Gavin Dance - Happiness

Album cover
Post-hardcore
Rise Records
Dance Gavin Dance
Happiness
Dance Gavin Dance - Happiness Review rating:
4
User rating:
Average: 5 (5 votes)

Bearing little resemblance to their first incarnation witnessed on their break-through release, Downtown Battle Mountain, Dance Gavin Dance is once again trying their hand at the crazy game of post-hardcore with their third full-length release, Happiness. It almost seems odd that, with the constant line-up changes and drama surrounding the band throughout their relatively short career, they named the album as such. Though, it seems the band is truly happy with where they currently stand, and the album shows it.

While Downtown Battle Mountain certainly remains one of Dance Gavin Dance's more core releases, Happiness builds upon last year's self-titled album which, while not featuring the likes of Johnny Craig, brought their new vocalist, Kurt Travis, into the spotlight. Many were skeptical if Travis could fill the void left in the wake of Craig. Not long after the release of their self-titled effort, the album made it's way into the Billboard Top 200, effectively solidifying Travis as the new face of Dance Gavin Dance, and proving to the world he had the chops to take the helm.

Through the constant member changes, the band have always seemed to maintain their sound as to not completely alienate fans of their previous work. Happiness is no exception to this. While Happiness features more of the usual you'd expect from Dance Gavin Dance, it's the few small changes from their self-titled outing that completely redeem this album. Though the changes may seem minor to those who have familiarized themselves with the band through their career, it's these few changes that make the album shine. Jumping into “Tree Village” we are welcomed with vastly improved vocals and screams laced with guitar work that would make The Fall Of Troy blush. The reminiscent guitar work remains constant through the entirety of Happiness, taking a slight break with the jazz influenced “Carl Barker,” to giving the listener a glimpse of chaos with “NASA.” As you dive deeper and deeper into the album, you'll notice a certain confidence in each strum of the guitar, in each beat of the drum, and in every breath before each ear-shattering shrill.

Happiness, while not exactly being a revolutionary album, is yet another memorable outing brought to you by Dance Gavin Dance. If you have yet to indulge yourself with these post-hardcore heavyweights, be sure to give this album a spin. It will certainly put a smile on your face.

1. Tree Village
2. NASA
3. I’m Down With Brown Town
4. Carl Barker
5. Happiness
6. Self-Trepanation
7. Strawberry Swisher Pt. 1
8. Don’t Tell Dave
9. Strawberry Swisher Pt. 2
10. Powder To The People

Dance Gavin Dance is an American post-hardcore/progressive rock band formed in Sacramento, California in 2005. It was formed out of the dissolution of several other bands including Farewell Unknown, Ghost Runner on Third, and Five Minute Ride.

Discography:
November 14, 2006 - Whatever I Say Is Royal Ocean
May 15, 2007 - Downtown Battle Mountain
August 19, 2008 - Dance Gavin Dance
June 9, 2009 - Happiness.

All of Dance Gavin Dance's records have been released on Rise Records.

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