The Dillinger Escape Plan are cutting ties. More than that, they’re breaking chains, burning bridges, and not looking back once. And if it wasn’t clear on their last album, the incredible ‘Ire Works’, that this band no longer care one bit for mathcore, core of any kind for that matter, or their much-heralded past, then album number five proves it permanently- this is a band of pioneers intent only on pushing forward.
‘Farewell Mona Lisa’ is the first sign of where The Dillinger Escape Plan have pushed to in 2010. The sort of squirrelly beast that this band have made their own since 04’s ‘Miss Machine’, but better, it shifts and swells from extreme noise terror to tender croons to angry beehive hum. It’s defiantly individual and singularly brilliant and in five quick minutes it bursts the bubbles of those still vainly holding out hope for a return to the firestorm fury of Dillinger’s very early days. Hell, frontman Greg Puciato sings it straight to them, “What did you expect, that we would never leave home… You should never put your trust in any of us”.
That’s not to say there is no intensity or venom here. Dillinger are still a band capable of sandblasting skin and in two-minute monsters like ‘Good Neighbour’ and ‘Crystal Morning’ they have no doubt added further fuel to their live fire. But the band are best when expanding, perverting and pulling apart these tantrums, turning them into post-everything experiments and (gasp) proper songs.
‘Widower’ goes a little clumsily from soft (love songs licks and Mike Patton-esque singing) to hard (rat-a-tat riffs and screaming about death) but handles both ends perfectly, ‘Room Full of Eyes’ is all bared teeth, electronic buzz and brilliantly rumbling bass, and closer ‘Parasitic Twins’ is dark, intimidating, and atmospheric but oh so beautiful. And despite the fact that this is the longest album Dillinger have released, as it rolls to a close you only want it to roll on and on and on.
Sure, there are other bands that do all these things but rarely at the same time and never this good. Hell, no other band on earth could put off-kilter riffs, robotic on-point percussion, inhuman barks, baroque croons, glockenspiel, strings and David Bowie’s pianist on the same record and produce something this creative, cohesive and coherent. In short, no one else is quite this good in quite this way and probably never will be.
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