Conceived and written in a remote cabin in Northern Michigan, the third album by emotional hardcore band La Dispute is a triumph in understatement, something the band hasn't really been known for in the past. A subtler take on their overly dramatic sound, Rooms of the House is themed around the relationship of a fictional couple living in a particular house. Vocalist/lyricist Jordan Dreyer weaves a heart-wrenching familial tale similar to Defeater's Letters Home album, finding the crushing emotion in everyday situations.
Rooms is more controlled than La Dispute's previous material and finds the band leaving expansive breaks in their formerly chaotic sound. Dreyer is in fine form, again channeling the storyteller, still exploding into his patented emo-scream when the mood fits. "For Mayor in Splitsville" and "Woman (in Mirror)" show a more rocked-out La Dispute, their '90s alt-rock meets indie rock slacker a definite shift in the band's canon.
Still, tracks like "Stay Happy There" and "First Reactions after Falling through the Ice," with that familiar emo-core lurch and shuffle, are the real standouts here. La Dispute might be expanding their sound, but they haven't forgotten the heightened discordance that brought them here in the first place.
Read an interview with La Dispute's Jordan Dreyer here. (Better Living/Staple)