Wildlife by La Dispute

8 August 2019

La Dispute’s 2011 album, Wildlife, depicts a young man’s personal, survival-of-the-fittest-esque struggle as he descends upon a downward spiraling path of self-discovery and learning how to deal with the dark sides of life.

The tracks on Wildlife are an assortment of hysterical monologues, deeply personal poems and letters- set to music. With prolific lyrics, layered guitar and bass, and an overall acrimony that will force chills down your spine, the boys of La Dispute have produced rhapsody in the form of an album- for lovers of music and literature alike.

It is easy to find solace in Jordan Dreyer, lead vocalist’s, resplendent tonality, and surprisingly, this rings truest to his more harrowing contributions as the album’s frontman. Just listening to earth-shattering tracks such as the didactic King Park, I See Everything, and Edward Benz, 27 Times, Dreyer’s take on stories that he was told by real people about true events, will leave you ruminative and with somewhat of a bitter taste in your mouth- in the best possible way.

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One of the most important parts of Wildlife is the level of intimacy brought out by the fact that Dreyer remains able to stay ardent in his performance no matter how tremulous and emotional he allows himself to be- you are never under the impression that he is just some angst-filled kid. Even on much more close-to-heart tracks, such as a Poem, a Letter, a Broken Jar, and a Departure, which may at first strike listeners as self-pitying represent much deeper meanings and have a thoughtful sort of contumaciousness to them that I have never found in any other songs. By addressing the reader directly with an incendiary honesty, Dreyer allows himself to connect with the listener in a manner that I have never experienced before listening to La Dispute.

The overall flagrance of Wildlife is sure to leave your jaw unhinged, and silently praying that the question, “Will their next release really be so propitious?” will have only alleviating answers. My only worry is that Wildlife will be their hardest work to top, since despite the fact that La Dispute’s whole discography is brilliant, the outdid themselves with Wildlife by a landslide. How can they duplicate the genius, spasmodic vocals, and the inventive instrumentation that brought such temperament to them? Knowing La Dispute, the most philosophical band I’ve ever been graced the opportunity to listen to, they’ll pull through with an even more magnificent work of art next time around.

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