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.
Standout Tracks: Need Money, Heat Seeking Ghost of Sex
Downtown Battle Mountain Pt.II Track List
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