Instant Gratification

Six albums in, Sacramento's Dance Gavin Dance has become something of a one-trick pony. But it's a pretty damn good trick. Instant Gratification is in many ways indistinguishable from the band's 2013 release, Acceptance Speech. However, there's certainly something to be said for a band that finds a stylistic groove and sticks to it. Instant Gratification has everything that both supporters and detractors of Dance Gavin Dance have come to expect: co-frontman Tilian Pearson's elvishly delicious high-register vocals soar over the band's more melodic prog-light passages while his screaming counterpart, Jon Mess, adds a more fearsome element during the regularly interspersed heavy moments. This combination of vocal sweet and sour may not be for everyone, but on songs like “Death of a Strawberry” and “Something New,” the band proves that they do it better than most. Musically, the band's technical chops are, as always, hard to dispute. The noticeable flat spots on Instant Gratification tend to come lyrically, such as the forced-sounding rap vocals on “Eagles vs. Crows” and the occasional embarrassingly sophomoric line. But love them or hate them, the Dance Gavin Dance dudes seem entirely comfortable being who they are.