Rating : 4 / 5
Throughout their thirteen year existence, The Dillinger Escape Plan has challenged heavy music audiences with their archetypal avant-garde execution. On their fourth full-length, the New Jersey quintet continues their divisive evolution, which now finds the band giant steps beyond their origins. While many detractors have abandoned modern DEP in favor of their 90s output, I feel more compelled to follow them than ever before.
The vision still belongs largely to their original member, Ben Weinman. His arrangements, guitar work, and electronic programming are the cornerstone of DEP. Weinman’s songwriting abilities have allowed him to create one of their finest latter-day recordings, “Gold Teeth On A Bum”, which has all the memorability of “Black Bubblegum” with a less saccharine, radio-friendly atmosphere.
Every album since their Mike Patton collaboration, Irony Is A Dead Scene, has included a more expansive track around six minutes long. In the past, DEP have pushed these longer songs towards the end of their albums, but “Widower” comes right in the middle of Option Paralysis. All emphasize piano and recorded sound effects while encompassing multiple facets of DEP‘s ever-developing style; their confidence is clear.
“Chinese Whispers” opens with similar tone to Mastodon‘s “Megalodon” from Leviathan, but thirty seconds in, that parallel is a distant memory. It is an obvious choice for the second single, with a good hook in the chorus and some truly feral screams by Greg Puciato. However, lead single “Farewell, Mona Lisa” appeals with lines like “Don’t you ever try to be / More than you were destined for / Or anything worth fighting for”.
But Puciato gets in full Patton swing in the closer, “Parasitic Twins” – a brilliant showcase for DEP. Driven by both piano and percussion, with fine work by newcomer Billy Rymer (as Gil Sharone has returned to drum for Stolen Babies), it echoes the distinct madness of Faith No More.
And really, this is exactly what The Dillinger Escape Plan is known for. Ready or not, they are going to do as they damn well please and shoot their aural load into your earhole. And strange as it may seem at first, you will want to keep coming back for more.
Try 1, 3, 6, 7, 8
01. Farewell, Mona Lisa
02. Good Neighbor
03. Gold Teeth On A Bum
04. Crystal Morning
05. Endless Endings
07. Room Full Of Eyes
08. Chinese Whispers
09. I Wouldn’t If You Didn’t
10. Parasitic Twins