Photo courtesy of Dance Gavin Dance
Dance Gavin Dance has been one of the strangest, cult like post-hardcore acts for the past ten years, and “Alex English” defines what made them a force to be reckoned with in the scene. Their sophomore self-titled record would come to prove what the band's sound would be defined as for records to come, a kind of riffing perfected by guitarist Will Swan that goes back and forth between playful and aggressive, topped off with the push-pull vocals between then-vocalist Kurt Travis and screamer Jon Mess. It's become a kind of post-hardcore classic, creating a tense intro and breakdown opening, implying the unothodox song structures to come. The song packs a lot of freedom with no fear of experimentation or going outside of the self-enforced rigidness the genre had employed. It broke them out of the clout of former vocalist Jonny Craig, proving that the musicianship and taste for catchiness would help the band continue for time to come.
As a part of the band's first live record, Tree City Sessions, they've rerecorded the song along with the band's newest vocalst, Tilian Pearson. He brings a kind of softness and new feeling to the song, revitalizing the tracks that allowed the band to flesh out their existence in the first place. His voice adds a greater evenness to the song, adding his own spin to the song's softer parts. Mess has also added new texture and power to his own voice, making the harsh sections of the song pop out more than the recorded version. Swan's riffing is as heavy and eccentric as ever, building up to boiling points and heavy catharses like never before.
Tree City Sessions is a statement of intent, letting everyone know that this will be the iteration of the band that will stick around for years to come. Listen to the re-worked "Alex English" below, and pre-order the record right here. Also, read our interview with the band's Jon Mess.