Dance Gavin Dance “Downtown Battle Mountain Pt. II” Review

I must say back last year when Dance Gavin Dance announced that Jonny Craig was returning to the band and there were plans to record a follow up to DGD’s most well known record Downtown Battle Mountain, I was stoked. With that being said I actually really enjoyed the two DGD releases without Jonny, Happiness and their self titled release Dance Gavin Dance. I thought Kurt Travis did a great job filling the huge shoes that Jonny had left behind with his departure. But even though Kurt did a fantastic job filling in, to this date Downtown Dance Battle remains the creme of the Dance Gavin Dance crop.

So with basically the original DGD lineup back in action Downtown Battle Mountain has to be a homerun, right? Well unfortunately after several listens through the new disc, I am going to have to answer WRONG. The main question I had while listening to the new album was, WHY? Why if this is a follow up to Downtown Battle Mountain, does it sound nothing like the original? Why is their rapping over several tracks on the album? Why does this entire album feel forced and rather uninspired?

Are there solid tracks on the album? Sure, but there is nothing close to touching gems such as “And I Told Them I Invented Times” or “The Backwards Pumpkin Song”. I can’t believe I am saying this but after the first few listens through this album I actually find myself missing Kurt Travis on vocals. It’s not that Jonny “Macbook Scam” Craig doesn’t have the chops that he once did, it’s just that it seems like he is more satisfied hearing his own voice than actually contributing to making the song better.

Overall Downtown Battle Mountain Pt. II has a few decent tracks such as “Need Money” and “Heat Seeking Ghost of Sex”, I just feel that this album is a step backward for the band overall.

Score: 2.5/5
Standout Tracks: Need Money, Heat Seeking Ghost of Sex

Downtown Battle Mountain Pt.II Track List
1. Spooks
2. Pounce Bounce
3. The Robot with Human Hair Pt. 2 ½
4. Thug City
5. Need Money
6. Elder Goose
7. Heat Seeking Ghost of Sex
8. Blue Dream
9. Privilously Poncheezied
10. Swan Soup
11. Purple Reign
12. People You Knew
13. Perfect


  • pabzlol

    awh, I don’t agree with your decision but I respect it. I felt that the album sounded different in a great way and the name was mainly to state that Jcraig was back, but then again, i’m a die hard DGD fan.

  • what are some of your favorite tracks? I am a pretty big DGD fan as well, for some reason thought this album just didnt do it for me though…. I wish it did though!

  • pabzlol

    Honestly, my favorites from this album were elder goose, swan soup, thug city and need money. DTBM1 I loved every single track except strawberry andre, for some reason that track bugged me. On self titled I loved alex english, me and zoloft, skyhook and people you know and on happiness I loved carl barker, nasa, tree village, happiness and powder to the people. What about you?

  • swagadag

    I didn’t like the album after the first few listens, but if you think of the end Previously Poncheezied/Swan Soup/Purple Reign as a suite, it begins to sound better. The first two singles are the best two songs. I don’t think it comes close to the majesty of DBM I, but Craig does Craig well and Mess steps his game up. Swan and Mingus are on-point as always. 3.5/5

  • Thoughtprocess1984

    did people really not think blue dream was great? who cares how it meshs with the album lol it is a crazy groovey song and lets face it kurt travis is not that good live just saying

  • Nick…

    i have to disagree with you on your overall thoughts on the record. i feel like this record is very well done. and a giant leap from Happiness. I really enjoyed Happiness but i think it was DGDs weakest release. They seemed to lack their complete song structure that they had on the Deathstar album. but they got it back here on DBMII. this album pulled all the aspects that i loved about DGD together into one album. they have a little bit of the funkiness from happiness with the whole structure of Deathstar, and they craig mess vocal dynamic from DBM, i think it all comes together beautifully. i think some of craigs vocals are a LITTLE soft in SOME places but i think he still brought it and it doesnt disappoint me. I was ecstatic to have Mess back and tearing it up. (for me it was VERY apparent that he wasnt there for Happiness cause i felt that the lyrics and fullness was gone (not just his screams), also Will Swan is mind blowing as per usual, along with Matt Mingus who absolutely NEVER disappoints me. the man is so fucking creative and i dont think he gets the recognition he deserves. All in all i loved this album, cant stop listening to it, and think it was well worth the wait. but thats me…

  • good insight and comment. Its definitely growing on me slowly

  • Hihelloyou34

    I disagree with you totally , I think this album is amazing. At first I was little disappointed , but I think it just takes some getting used to , I couldnt pick a favorite song on the album because there all amazing , once I started to read the lyrics and look into the music deeper then just expectations I found it to be really well done . I think that everybody should stop judging them so harshly and think about the hard work they put into this album . Having the original members of the band is great , jonny dose an amazing job , and jon mess just makes even better.