A Glorious Piece of Art; Dance Gavin Dance’s Afterburner

I had written an article ranking and grading every Dance Gavin Dance album there was (nine), so I thought it was finally time to sit down and talk about their latest album dropped on April 24th; Afterburner.

*Spoiler Alert*


As of where I put it in my ranking and grading article, well you’ll just have to read that one and find out where I put it. Enough small talk though let’s talk Afterburner!

Track #1 – Prisoner

Prisoner was the first song in this record’s track list, and it was the first song dropped that announced that Afterburner was coming to us. I won’t spend too much time on the singles that had dropped (since I already wrote another article about this song), but overall I loved every part of this track. Tilian’s vocals shined throughout this track, and I really enjoyed the flow that Will brought with the guitar mixed with Tim’s bass playing. Jon of course drove it home at the end with a brutal mash of screams mixed with Matt’s drumming. Very good track and a wonderful start to this album.

Track #2 – Lyrics Lie

Lyrics Lie is a wonderful blend of many different things that give us that great Dance Gavin Dance feeling. I feel like I liked this one a lot due to how Will’s guitar essentially danced off the tongues of Tilian and Jon. I enjoyed the lyrics to this track as well the back and forth moments between Tilian and Jon’s story telling. Just a beautiful track to listen to man. Plus, the music video is incredible too if you like art and the passion that is brought to it so check that out as well!

Track #3 – Calentamiento Global

At first, I had to check to see if I was dreaming here because all of Tilain’s lyrics in this song are in Spanish. Yep that’s right in Spanish. It was the first time that this group decided to do something like this, and man was I impressed. Jon’s screams continue in English so while it would be cool if that was in Spanish too, I think the song is great where it is. I know I am not the only one who starts dancing when I hear this track. The guitar work incorporated in this track is wonderful and it all comes together at the end for one badass moment. Check it out man. You don’t want to miss this track!

Track #4 – Three Wishes

Three Wishes was the final single released before the album officially released. This one was a great track to listen to because it gave me a really great vibe like songs in the past did with Summertime Gladness, Count Bassy, and Blood Wolf. The feeling of this track is a very groovy, happy, and overall wonderful listen to. I would even argue that this song and those listed in this would be the type a person should listen to if they don’t like a lot of screaming introduced. Very easy and wonderful track. Plus, the video is done by fans, and even though I wasn’t in it, it is still great.

Track #5 – One in a Million

For some reason, I get a lot of religious influence in this song and maybe you can argue that for the Hallelujah said a lot in this song, but in the long run, I interpret this song as being sung by a religious cult leader and I enjoy it. Tilian’s vocals reach new heights in this track as they compliment the song to a very touching tone. Will’s guitar play again comes in here as they dance along the tongue of the lyrics given. Such a good song in a very uplifting manner.

Track #6 – Parody Catharsis

I was hooked on this song right from the beginning when Tilian started singing. Man this is such a good one. There are so many elements that pan together and help make this track such a great one for me and many others listen to. I really enjoyed a little rapping in the song from Will here. It was something I had not seen since Mothership. Jon Mess’s screams have a more melodic vibe to them that flows the driving points on this track. A lot of the lyrics made me feel related because of the quarantine situation we’ve had to endure. Overall, this is such a great piece on an already amazing album.

Track #7 – Strawberry’s Wake

Just like Prisoner, Lyrics Lie, and Three Wishes, Strawberry’s Wake was a single released in anticipation of the new album. It was the second track released, and man was it a good one. I also have an article on this track so if you want a more in-depth analysis head there. The short one for this is that it is a very fun and enjoyable track to listen to. Jon’s and Tilian’s voices mash so well on this one, the instruments are so smooth (especially the bass part in this song), and the video is hilarious. Overall, it is one that everyone here should check out now!

Track #8 – Born To Fail

At first, when I listened to the beginning of this track, I thought was getting an interesting Secret Band song thrown on the album, but man when Tilian starts singing I was blown away. You can tell that he had nothing holding him back on this track as the lyrics stab the infuriated wound of something that was essentially born to fail. The lyrics alone are great and what drive the song, and when you include the instrumental work done on this it completes it. It’s such a great song man!

Track #9 – Parallels

This song was possibly one of the grooviest ones Dance Gavin Dance had ever made. that is something to the say considering the work they put in on tracks and projects in the past. I got very Downtown Battle Mountain II vibes from listening to it. While it wasn’t my favorite album of the group, I appreciate the similar work done in this one as essentially this track was like bouncing a ball and seeing where it would land next especially near the end of it. Very good work!

Track #10 – Night Sway

One of the heavier tracks of this album, Night Sway takes you on a roller coaster ride of your essential Dance Gavin Dance sound style. I actually really love the bass in this song. It compliments the other instruments quite nicely in this song. This is also very much a song that Jon drives home with the verses while Tilian handles the chorus work. This is honestly one of the best choruses in this entire album, and I hope you dig it too!

Track #11 – Say Hi

Now he get to the heaviest track on the album; Say Hi. This song is heavily driven by the drum work by Matt Mingus. Man he is really good at working this whole song. In fact, the drumming and the work done by the screamer Jon Mess fully put this song into a whole other aspect on this entire track. The lyrics make me feel like someone wanting to be noticed and just trying to fit in. This mixed with the music just makes it that much more interesting to listen to in my opinion.

Track #12 – Nothing Shameful (feat. Andrew Wells)

Anyone that listened to Evaporate off of Artificial Selection knows that Andrew on that track was amazing. Having his vocals present on this track made this song so much more of a wonderful process to dig deep down into. Having all three of these vocal styles on this track made it completely stand out especially near the middle where all of them are layered out. I thoroughly also enjoyed the ending where Jon and Tilian’s voices play off of each and create a wonderful joy to my ears as they close out the track.

Track #13 – Into the Sunset (feat. Bilmuri)

The oddest track comes at the end with Into the Sunset. I feel like you either will love or hate this song, and for me, this is one that I very much loved. The very nature of this song was very easy to dance around and vibe to with a nice gentle feeling to it. Bilmuri excels on the first verse of this track, and if you guys don’t know him, I suggest you look him because that’s exactly what I did. The guy is really talented. I even got more Will Swan rapping on this track which is exactly what I needed. They remind me a lot of Chocolate Jackalope and Eagles vs Crows. Also, Jon Mess’s verse; “Stick around get stuck, Stick around get stuck, you’re a clown now, you’re a clown now, get stuck” will be one I will be singing for a long time. Tilian also delivers on the chorus of this very soft and unexpected track! Very impressed by this one!

Well that was it ladies and gentlemen. Again my opinions, but I am genuinely interested to know your favorite song off this album. So, vote below and I hoped everyone enjoyed this review. Bless this mess!

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