La Dispute - Here, Hear
Release Date: May 2008
Record Label: Forest Records
Before their energetic, 2008 release Somewhere at the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair, La Dispute released a collection of tracks that displayed a much different side of the vigorous, new-wave post-hardcore band. In April 2008, the members gathered in Grand Rapids, Michigan to record Here, Hear. During that time, they recorded four self-produced tracks of spoken-word poetry set to music. What they created was a simple, yet effective, atmosphere that displayed the poems in a new light, creating a different perspective for music fans and poetry fans alike to enjoy.
The EP’s first track, "One," opens up with vocalist Jordan Dreyer reading a passage from Tom Robbins' Still Life With Woodpecker. This track is slow to start, but with the bass line serving as the backbone of the track, along with the melodica’s melody setting the mood, this song continues with a smooth, natural mood that helps the listener create a mental image of what Dreyer is reading.
The EP’s strongest track is “Three,” which contains Edgar Allen Poe’s Annabel Lee. From a production standpoint, this song was not recorded in the warehouse, but rather a bedroom, trading a spacious feel for a more full-sounding track. The piano dances along with Dreyer’s signature vocal delivery, setting a mood of desperation that successfully depicts the emotion Edgar Allen Poe would have wanted a reader to feel. The track continues to naturally escalate until Dreyer belts the last line of “Can ever dissever my soul from the soul of my Annabel Lee!”
To me, this 4-song selection serves as a sign of things to come, much like a travel guide. Fans of La Dispute will enjoy this release because of the noticeable lyrical connection between Here, Hear and Somewhere At the Bottom…. It may lack the heart-pumping energy that many fans of the genre are used to, but it helps serve fans with a different look at their inspiration for La Dispute’s work. In the end, the EP is a short, easy-on-the-ears collection of tracks that helps showcase La Dispute’s talent outside of their normal, post-hardcore background.