Blue Robot

Album Review: La Dispute/Koji - Never Come Undone

Posted by Brian McFarland on 07/08 at 09:30 AM

Never Come Undone is a four-song split EP with Koji and La Dispute that was released on May 3. The EP switches artists every track, blending the two different sounds into one interesting creation. Never Come Undone transcends musical differences by focusing on the emotional and ethical similarities. It shows that despite differences, where there is common ground those differences become insignificant, just as the album cuts across genres and styles.

La Dispute is an up-and-coming band that received a ton of buzz from their 2008 debut full-length album Somewhere at the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair. Their creative, catchy instrumentals and passionate vocals from Jordan Dreyer are nothing like Koji’s sound. The first song on the EP, Sunday Morning, at a Funeral, is about exactly what the title suggests and shows off Dreyer’s intensity through his hurried-speaking style which, as the song progresses, turns into only a brief stint of yelling. His unique sound parallels the pain and passion of the song. Last Blues, La Dispute’s final song on the album is an acoustic take on their own song Last Blues for Bloody Knuckles. The song is toned down a lot but Dreyer uses his vocals to convey the same emotion.

Andrew Koji Shiraki is a singer, song-writer from Harrisburg and a State College favorite. He has been living on the road making a name for himself with his passionate vocals and acoustic guitar. He was recently named one of AP’s 100 bands you need to know in 2011 according to underthegunreview.net. His first song on the album, Peacemaker, answers followers desires with strong acoustic and vocal melodies that drive the upbeat song. His sincere lyrics and range of percussion instruments, from claves to a xylophone, make it a clear standout on the split and a nice change of pace from La Dispute. The final song, Biomusicology, is a beautiful deconstruction of Ted Leo and the Pharmicists’s original track. The song starts by highlighting his vocals overtop of his light guitar playing. The drums roll in building anticipation. Group singing chimes in before Koji goes into a soothing, soft guitar rift letting the instruments do the singing and closing out the song.

The songs on this album are all rated A’s individually, but as a whole, they don’t come together a well.  Also, I wanted to see a bigger collaboration. Two or three more songs from both artists would have boosted the quality of the album.  However, the EP is only $2.89 on Amazon.com for download, and $2.99 on iTunes.  I don’t think you can beat that. The four tracks are definitely worth it. I just wish there were more songs on the EP.

Overall the album is exciting. It left me wanting more from both Koji and La Dispute. It excites me to hear a new Koji song and to be introduced to La Dispute and their passion for what they do. Even better than the album itself is the message they deliver. Differences when overcome; similarities when focused on, lead to the truth and can tear down barriers in music and life. I can’t wait for more music from these two bands.


Buy Never Come Undone at Amazon.com and support WPSU and Blue Robot

{name} Author: Brian McFarland
Bio: Brian McFarland is a senior print journalist major with a minor in English. He has a passion for all forms of original, creative music. In his spare time he likes to attend shows, play sports, read, and write. He loves the indie scene but still loves music of all genres and sounds. Favorite bands include Brand New, Emery, Thursday, and Blink 182.

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