Who They Are: Punk and poetry have been intertwined since Patti Smith's Horses, but the work of La Dispute feels like a new milestone in the genre's bid for real literary clout. Formed in 2006 by cousins Jordan Dreyer and drummer Brad Van Der Lugt – the Grand Rapids, Michigan, band's vocalist and drummer, respectively – and named after an 18th-century French play, La Dispute have progressed from a frenetic left-field hardcore outfit to a startlingly mature post-emo powerhouse. "There were parallels I could draw with characters at times with my own life, but for the most part I wanted to be able to really objectively create a universe," Dreyer told Idobi Radio of 2014's narrative-driven Rooms of the House.
Why They're Great: The combination of Dreyer's wordy fictions, delivered either as urgent barks or plainspoken asides, and the band's furious yet richly dynamic post-hardcore mini-epics made Rooms of the House one of the most arresting punk statements in recent memory.
Signature Anthem: Rooms' ominous opener, "Hudsonville, MI 1956," marries elliptical lyrics ("After dinner do the dishes/Mother hums/The coffeemaker hisses") to explosive half-time grooves and a creeping sense of dread.
You Might Also Like: Touche Amore, Title Fight, Joyce Manor. —H.S.