Inexplicably, the band is able to play with different sounds and styles without sacrificing their sense of self: Acceptance Speech, the band’s fifth album, doesn’t sound like an experiment or an accident, but rather like the exact album the band was aiming to make.
That said, it’s willingness to play with song structure and elements does occasionally make the album sound like a record of half-measures. “Acceptance Speech,” for example, flirts with outright hardcore, melodic metal, pop emo and even a tossed-off joke rap in it’s four minute runtime. The song works, despite it’s myriad tones and moods, but it’s hard not to wish the band wouldn’t stick to one horse and ride it.
Negative and positive song choices flow like the tides on Acceptance Speech. Don’t like the choppy, digitized vocals on “Demo Team?” Wait 30 seconds, they’ll be gone and replaced with melodic hardcore. Wish that there were more noise and grind on the straightforward “Strawberry Swisher Pt. 3?” Wait for the grind breakdown.
The album’s weakest songs are the ones that don’t play with ideas of what screamo can be. Tracks like “Death of the Robot with Human Hair” and “Honey Revenge” aren’t bad, per say, but they lack the excitement of the album’s other, more experimental tracks, like “Doom & Gloom.”
The fact that Dance Gavin Dance can make an album, as fluid as this one is without invoking schizophrenia in the listener is an accomplishment in and of itself. For it’s flaws, Acceptance Speech is an assured record from a band with obvious talent.