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Review: La Dispute – Wildlife

Band – La Dispute

Album – Wildlife

Label – No Sleep Records

What is it that I don’t get about La Dispute?

I have friends that adore them, they’re creating a massive buzz, getting rave reviews and they’re best buds with some of my favourite bands. Yet, I don’t get it. I’ve really, really tried to like them, I really want to like them. I keep listening the new album ‘Wildlife’, and while it’s a massive step up from the last album, ‘Somewhere at the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair’, I still cannot call myself a fan.

The problem I have is definitely with the music because I really do like the vocals. They are La Disputes strongest point, the vocal style is a mix of Tupamaros and At the Drive-in with a good dose of heart and clever lyrics. The music sells it short, maybe it’s overshadowed by the vocals but even still nothing about it grabs you and demands your attention. Like I already said though the music has improved a lot from the last record but its still lacking. There’s nothing to get you excited or that you can lose yourself in about the music, no hook that will imbed itself in you and force you to return to the album time and time again.

La Dispute are a lot different from the other bands in their scene, they are experimenting with different sounds and different ways to present an album and for that they should definitely be applauded. ‘Wildlife’ is a concept album, a collection of short stories bookmarked by four songs. A lot of thought and care has gone into the lyrics and the story they convey, this is clearly most important for the band, the lyrics come first before the music. There are times on the album where things come together and it does work. ‘King Park’is a highlight, it’s moving and the music is matched to the haunting lyrical story which combines to give a taste of what a good band they could be. But these moments are few and far between and in an album which is 14 songs long,do get drowned out.

‘Wildlife’ is not a bad album. If you liked any of La Dispute’s previous output then you will certainly enjoy this. They are getting better and I know I will be finding myself in the minority here but, for whatever reason, I don’t get it. Let me know your opinion on this one.
Cheers x

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