There’s a moment in ‘Fulton Street I’, the lead track on La Dispute’s new record Panorama, where Jordan Dreyer wonders: “If you needed me to be anything, could I even be half of what you need?” This self-reflection is a welcome return to the autobiographical leanings of their now seminal debut album; Somewhere in the Sea Between Vega and Altair. While many of their contemporaries have edged their way towards the mainstream, La Dispute have kept the visceral poetic punch they always had.

Dreyer’s lyrics have always been the focus of the Michigan quintet’s post-hardcore, whether they were dealing in concept or reality. From soft-spoken to scratchy soapbox his half talk, half desperate sob has a wide-angle here, taking in the lives and deaths of those around him; this is Dreyer’s Panorama.

Panorama is a study of trickle-down grief. The brushed strokes and melancholy chords of ‘Rhodonite and Grief’ are a gasping attempt to help those suffocating in routine, as Dreyer puts himself in his partner’s shoes, “Kill me by surprise’ you said/ I don’t wanna stay alive, to watch the words go first like hers.” The numbness is reflected back at us in the song’s drooping beat.

The ability to convey the daily tragedies that haunt a place is a distillation of the literary quality that La Dispute have honed. Each track a snapshot, a page torn from a pulpy paperback. For the fans, this is La Dispute’s beauty. For Dreyer, hearing his subject’s lives dissected back at him has been a cause of concern, so a distortion of sounds seems natural. Luckily the pummelling ‘Anxiety Panorama’ only benefits from the surges of sound that suddenly overwhelm.

It’s a natural progression then that Dreyer has, for the most part, turned the pen back on himself and the life experiences he has or hasn’t had and how they effect his interactions with others. Progression is a funny word; in some ways La Dispute are the antithesis of progression, they’re more a freeze-frame of the moments and memories we try to get away from. This ability to cherry-pick these moments and refine them to poems told in a desperate, choked-back, strained delivery is the genius of La Dispute, and the reason they are now one of the pivotal post-hardcore bands of the last decade.

The recurring images of death come to a head in finale ‘You Ascendant’, where Dreyer discusses the different ways he’d like to die, “Can it be quietly? Like in the morning drinking coffee with the sunrise.” This makes the record sound morbid, but Panorama comes full-circle with the final refrain of “I will be everything you need.” Hope is there throughout, hidden in the motifs of healing stones and gems.