Dance Gavin Dance // Jackpot Juicer // Album Review
Looking at the track listing on “Jackpot Juicer” is daunting and some may go as far as to say off-putting, eighteen tracks is a lot, but it most certainly does not feel long or laborious; each track flows seamlessly into the next and there is none of the disconnect that can sometimes creep into longer albums as bands tend to pad it out to make it seem more than it is, thankfully these guys have crafted an album that does none of that and concentrates solely on making the best music possible.
Opening with “Untitled” a short classical instrumental that leads nicely into “Cream Of The Crop”, opening with a hefty dose of electro-funk before Jon Mess gets his vocal mitts on it and tears it up big time unleashing the heavy side of the band with crushing drums and chugging riffs before it drops back to a funky groove, the most striking thing is that everything blends together perfectly; from the clean vocals of Tilian Pearson to the string arrangement at the breakdown to the screaming of Mess, setting a high bar for the rest of the album. “Synergy”, with Rob Damiani from Don Broco guesting on vocals, is a high-energy track with a lighter feel even when the screamed vocals come in the music stays upbeat with a nice funky vibe. “Holy Ghost Spirit” and “For The Jeers” roll by in the blink of an eye as they mix it up with radio-friendly electro beats and some banging metalcore stylings.
“Ember” kills it from the off with an incessant beat as Mess screams his way through to where Pearson takes over with a more mellow offering on vocals backed up by a kicking drum beat in the background, the back and forth between contrasting styles gives it that extra edge. “Pop Off!” is a big bass funkster that has a nice heavy side to it, even as Mess goes off the deep end the infectious groove is still there, this is one of the best tracks on the album. “One Man’s Cringe” mixes the band’s different styles to great effect here, with mellow and screamed vocals laid over calm instrumentals which include a really groovy guitar breakdown. “Feels Bad Man” opens with a rousing drum and guitar riff before it breaks into a toe-tapping groover with Pearson and Mess trading nicely on the vocals, this is a cracking tune. “Die Another Day” has a heavier beat playing throughout the track even when Pearson is singing but when Mess takes over on the vocals he takes it to a new level and the song just takes off, it seesaws back and forth and is a really solid track.
“Two Secret Weapons” is an oddity in that it has a kind of Rasta/Caribbean steel band vibe off it but it hasn’t if that makes any sense, a real relaxed feel with minimal screamed vocals, strange but cool. “Polka Dot Dobbins” is the polar opposite of what came before, with a more frantic tempo, kicking things up a gear, with the two vocal styles playing over each other it adds a nice bit of variety. “Long Nights In Jail” has an upbeat airy tempo with Pearson taking on the majority of the vocals; his calm crooning added to the soft strummed funky guitars and gentle drums give you a cool track. “Back On Deck” again has Pearson taking the lion’s share of the vocals backed up by a killer drum and bass beat which takes it up a notch when Mess takes over, there is a quirky riff that plays throughout the track that, on first listen, feels so out of place but on repeat plays you see it fits perfectly, you gotta love this track. “Current Events” has Mess killing it from the off backed up by a monster beat and a Machine Head style riff all this is in stark contrast to when Pearson takes over as it becomes a near stoner track, it flips between the two with Mess taking over on some of the lighter breakdowns and Pearson on the heavy just to keep it interesting. “Pray To God For Your Mother” is a melodic thumper that will have you rapt as the interplay between Pearson and Mess over a groovy beat simply rocks. “Swallowed By Eternity” follows in the footsteps of the previous track’s melody wise but it has a much harder edge to it when Mess gets on the vocals; the drums lay the base for the track with everything else just falling into place with ease, another contender for track of the album. “Have A Great Life” closes out the album with a fast-paced monster that is built of an intense drum beat and killer guitars, both Pearson and Mess trading excellently off one another, a brilliant end to a great album.
Dance Gavin Dance will be heading out on the road later this month in the US for the ‘Evening With Friends Tour‘. The special outing will also provide fans with a unique Dance Gavin Dance line-up. Guitarist Andrew Wells will be taking centre stage to take over clean singing duties, Marc Okuboof Veil of Maya will be stepping in to cover Andrew’s guitar duties and the band will be joined by former Dance Gavin Dancefrontman and frontman of Royal Coda, Kurt Travis, for select songs. The 21- date trek starts on July 26th with a very special, intimate show at infamous Sunset Strip venue, The Whisky A Go-Go in Los Angeles which was previously announced and sold out in less than 3 minutes (a portion of the proceeds from this show will go towards Musicares) and will wrap on August 24th in San Francisco at The Fillmore.
Jackpot Juicer is out now via Rise Records
The bandrecently announced the support for their upcoming UK tour this autumn. The band will be supported by Caskets, Volumes and Eidola. Tickets are on sale now – HERE.
You can see the band at the following dates:
8th September 2022 – Stylus Leeds UK
9th September 2022 – o2 Ritz Manchester UK
10th September 2022 – Garage Glasgow UK
12th September 2022 – o2 Institute Birmingham UK
14th September 2022 – Engine Rooms Southampton UK
15th September 2022 – SWX Bristol UK
16th September 2022 – o2 Shepherds Bush Empire London UK
19th September 2022 – Melkweg Amsterdam NL
20th September 2022 – Ubel & Gefarlich Hamburg DE
21st September 2022 – Columbia Theatre Berlin DE
22nd September 2022 – Essigfabrik Cologne DE