Like a diary read aloud, Rooms of the House traps listeners in a raw exposure of emotion. The haunting vocals, laced with the grittiness of real experience, pain, and the everyday struggle of reality, make the album a distant cousin of spoken word, something hardly seen in music today. The lyrics read like a personal diary, a confession of the intricacies in relationships and the hardships of living with them. Enhanced by the dissonance of the guitar and the heavy presence of the bass, each track has looming darkness that heightens the emotional density of the lyrics.
Jordan Dreyer’s vocal performance leaves hearts of listeners shattered, for he has incredible control over his voice. His voice crescendos with the song at perfectly appropriate times; however, he also expresses intense vulnerability, during which his voice hides meekly. His delivery, similar to Jason Butler of letlive., brings the lyrics to life. He is not just singing words written on paper, he is feeling the words and expressing them in a way that helps us feel them too. It sets La Dispute apart from many other bands whose lyrics, though good, get lost in translation. The build of emotion bleeds from Dreyer’s vocal chords.
Rooms of the House tells a story of life. The utter rawness of the album, seemingly simple, grasps listeners and does not let go. It is as if La Dispute takes the hand of the listener and gives them a tour of their house, each room a different memory, a different phase of life, a different point of view. The simplicity of the lyrics – that is to say, the thematic simplicity of understanding the plight everyday life – the darkness of the music and the emotionally jarring vocals create an incredibly relatable and damn good album.
Review by Alice Carson