Featuring elements of post-hardcore, jazz fusion, progressive rock, and screamo, Dance Gavin Dance are a band whose evolution feels more about refining their sound than expanding it. On Acceptance Speech, their fifth album, the band returns with new clean vocalist Tilian Pearson making his debut. Given the revolving door of vocalists the band has seen, longtime fans will no doubt have their own personal favorite vocal pairings, but on his maiden voyage with Dance Gavin Dance, Pearson nails it. Combined with the intricate guitar work at play in the songs, Pearson's voice soars, providing a lightness that offsets a knotty complexity that might otherwise become overwhelming, if not exhausting, in its absence. All told, Acceptance Speech is an album that helps to maintain the status quo for Dance Gavin Dance, making minor adjustments to their sound while mostly staying the course, making for an album that should please longtime fans of the band.
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AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney