In April 2012, La Dispute announced their latest charity benefit project, Conversations, a packet consisting of a hand-assembled and multi-dimensional collection of items courtesy of La Dispute themselves, writers involved with 826michigan, and the band's artist friends. All proceeds from Conversations benefit 826michigan, a branch of Dave Eggers' literacy organization, 826 National. In this feature, we speak with vocalist Jordan Dreyer about their work with 826michigan and highlight all of the organizations they have worked with in-depth. As La Dispute continue to use their youth and energy to benefit the less fortunate, this on-going article will be updated to reflect their continued humanitarianism.

 

"Everything goes a long way. Every little thing counts." -- Jordan Dreyer
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Our third-annual album cover art feature uses interviews with artists and musicians to highlight the philosophical, thematic, and conceptual significance of great album cover artwork. THE BREAKDOWN    12 Collage + 14 Digital Illustration, Drawing, Design + 19 Illustration, Painting, Drawing + 8 Black And White Photography + 22 Color Photography + 6 Deluxe Packaging + 10 Fashion,...

This probably won't be the most "professional" review ever -- but in my shaky defense, I dare say that previous revisions were even more visceral and less sophisticated than this one...

Despite baring a title that sounds like a soccer team, I Am the Avalanche's long-rumored sophomore album Avalanche United is finally seeing the light of day, courtesy of I Surrender Records. Six years following their debut, it's no surprise that some of these songs have already been leaked online or played live, which lends the record a little bit more familiarity, but make no mistake, this is still a welcomed album.

Because of lead singer Vinnie Carauna's previous band, The Movielife, it's impossible to not compare the two bands, but on this album, IATA certainly come into their own and are definitely forging an identity independent of the members' past groups. Avalanche United starts off with the bombastic "Holy Fuck" and then launches into crowd favorite "Brooklyn Dodgers." Much of the record is filled with breakneck tunes like "You've Got Spiders" and "The Gravedigger's Argument" -- all of which have a tinge of New York/New Jersey '90s hardcore (Lifetime, Kill Your Idols, et. al).

01 Holy Fuck by SecretServicePublicity

Orange County band Thrice have certainly come a long way from playing emotive post-hardcore (or screamo) and touring with bands like American Nightmare, Converge, and Bane, to creating interesting and dense straight-ahead rock albums. It's not like this is big news, though; Thrice have been moving further along from their second major label album Vheissu since their Alchemy Index series.

Like with their last album, Beggars, Thrice take a much more succinct approach with their latest record, Major/Minor. Take, for example, "Blinded" -- a song slightly over four minutes. When compared to recordings in the band's past, whether it's from The Illusion Of Safety or any of the Alchemy Index EPs, it's far different and has very little in common with those. There's no shredding, no screaming, no weird electronic bridges; there's only a four-piece rock band.

By Surprise have a song called "Daggermouth Is Playing At My House" which led me to believe that they were another band aping the pop-punk-hardcore-easycore genre. That said, I was pleasantly "surprised" (see what I did there?) when I listened to "Mountain Smashers" from beginning to end and realized that...

Long-running outfit, Mock Orange, began as an auspicious post-hardcore band, but over time, they have shifted towards much more musically greener pastures, culminating in 2008's "Captain Love," a massively underrated testament to the group's desire to push boundaries. Listen to "Grow Your Soul" - DOWNLOAD MP3 For their latest record, Disguised...