If you know anything about the modern post-hardcore scene, you will know that northern California has produced some amazing bands in the last 10 years. Groups like Dance Gavin Dance, Hail The Sun, Strawberry Girls, Secret Band, and Sianvar have all hailed from this region and have reshaped the sub genre of post-hardcore in an iconic way. Dwellings, a brand new group out of Modesto, California, will be the next band to add to this legendary list.
Dwellings have only released one song so far off their debut EP, “Lavender Town”, but they have already made a significant impact on the post-hardcore community. With a successful first single, and a second one titled “Foreverest” coming this Friday, Dwellings has seen an immense amount of growing demand, excitement, and anticipation for this debut release. I for one am definitely included in this group of new Dwellings fans looking forward to this release and what the future holds for the California post-hardcore act.
“Lemonade” is a great first impression for Dwellings. The track itself is able to showcase each members skill set while simultaneously being a great, catchy track overall. Distorted, artfully crafted guitar riffs and drumming are elegantly mixed in with high pitched singing vocals, similar to a style like Donovan Melero of Hail the Sun, and harsh, screaming vocals, which feature a tone that can be compared to Jon Mess of Dance Gavin Dance. However, I will say these familiar sounding vocal tones are directly linked to lyrics that are very different from both Hail the Sun and Dance Gavin Dance. The most memorable part of this debut track is, without a doubt, the melodic, upbeat sound the entire song features. This characteristic is extremely prominent from start to finish, and when focusing on certain sections, like the chorus for example, it can make the track extremely addictive! The great emphasis and build ups to the prominent anthemic and melodic portions of the song highlights the most significant sections of the track itself and showcases Dwellings’ already amazing songwriting.
A new listener to Dwellings might notice a few similarities between them and the post-hardcore titans, Dance Gavin Dance. While some might view these similarities as a rip off or attempt to copy DGD, I personally think they further improve Dwellings, and in some instances, when looking at these comparisons I believe it can be concluded that Dwellings does certain things better than Dance Gavin Dance. For starters, Dwellings and Dance Gavin Dance both feature similar artwork. If you look at the artwork for “Lavender Town” and compare it to Dance Gavin Dance’s “Downtown Battle Mountain” I and II, “Happiness”, and “Acceptance Speech” artworks, you can see multiple similarities in the style of artwork. “Lavender Town” features an elaborate city that uses a unique style of characters that have multiple interactions throughout the artwork, which is very similar to both “Downtown Battle Mountains”. “Lavender Town” also uses the characteristic of having a colorful display of a landscape and its inhabitants, who exemplify a lot of action and detail happening outside of the focus point and almost entirely seem to be focused on a centrally located figure, like the designs for both “Happiness” and “Acceptance Speech”. “Lavender Town” further draws similarities by using a world of characters, much like the familiar characters and faces seen in the DGD artwork world, that I’m assuming will be featured on future Dwellings’ artworks in a similar fashion to how DGD reuses the same artistic style and depiction of characters in their own artwork, fictitious worlds.
Dwellings’ “Lavender Town”:
Dance Gavin Dance’s “Downtown Battle Mountain”:
“Downtown Battle Mountain II”:
Musical there are also numerous similarities between the two California based bands. Personally, I believe this track sounds a lot like it was influenced from songs heard off of “Happiness” and “Acceptance Speech”. While I think the similarities are not close enough to consider it plagiarism, I do believe its significant enough to come to the conclusion that some parts sound alike on both the single and the releases mentioned. These two album are some of my favorite releases by DGD, so the comparison is something I thought highly of. I personally believe that the sound generated in these two eras are some of DGD’s most memorable and successful work, and for Dwellings to take inspiration from these records shows they are on pace to accomplish great feats. In fact, I am much more excited to hear “Lavender Town” when it is released than I was to hear new Dance Gavin Dance. Lately, I believe Dance Gavin Dance has lacked inspiration, and because of it I believe the quality of material from the Sacramento group might decrease. However, Dwellings has a lot to prove being a brand new band and when comparing their first single, “Lemonade”, to Dance Gavin Dance’s first single off “Mothership”, “Chucky vs. The Giant Tortoise”, “Lemonade” absolutely sounds better and has made my anticipation higher for new Dwellings than my anticipation for new Dance Gavin Dance.
In conclusion, this debut single by Dwellings is phenomenal and I give it a 9.4/10. I believe that the new era of post-hardcore will showcase Stolas, Dwellings, Hail the Sun as the future of this genre and their impact and albums they release will reshape how we view the genre completely. Please do not sleep on this amazing group and check out their single below! They will release their second single ever, “Foreverest” this Friday, so be sure to check back in for a review of this next release by the soon-to-be post-hardcore giants, Dwellings!