Thomas Jacob Jr.
Dance Gavin Dance - Mothership
In 2016 the post-hardcore scene has mostly given way to djent and metalcore, but there are still a few bands fighting the good fight, and Dance Gavin Dance, despite their revolving lineup and divisive last few albums, remain among the strongest acts in the genre. Mothership is a grand showcase of everything the band does well — complex and mathy guitar riffs propelling three and four minutes blasts of screamo and rock, with vocals that alternate from scene shrieking to a piercing emo falsetto (both of which, miraculously, work extremely well). Songs like Young Robot and Frozen One are among the best rock songs of the year. The band touches on progressive rock with Here Comes the Winner; elsewhere they double down on the heaviness with Petting Zoo Justice. The integration of funk rock and pop elements is another win, and ensures that the album is diverse enough to never become boring. While my own personal tastes would prefer that the instruments had a little more room to breathe (as opposed to almost always supporting the vocals), Mothership remains an engaging listen from start to finish, and is easily the best post-hardcore release of the year.