The Dillinger Escape Plan
Party Smasher Inc
22 March 2010
by Raziq Rauf
For over a decade now, The Dillinger Escape Plan have been synonymous with thoughts of dizzying time signatures and seemingly superfluous technicalities rightly associated with mathcore. However, those who persevered with melted minds duly found comforting interjections of melody and sensitivity that served to soothe the maladies of digesting song after relentless song of ferociously difficult listening.
Just like 2007’s more widely appreciated Ire Works was seen to increase accessibility to DEP’s music via some more traditionally structured songs, there is much for the casual listener in Option Paralysis. Take opening track and first single, ‘Farewell, Mona Lisa’ for instance. Greg Puciato roars the album into gear before Ben Weinman and Jeff Tuttle’s characteristically superb guitars take over. It’s the burly, shit-throwing vocalist that eventually steals the show, steering every riff with his nasal, Mike Patton-esque croon.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that DEP have just mellowed out over time and that the unyielding brutality of 1999 debut Calculating Infinity has been lost to the annals of time but then ‘Crystal Morning’ and ‘Endless Endings’ snap their teeth at you for a couple minutes each. It’s Billy Rymer’s pugilistic drumming that pricks the ears the most during cuts this uncompromising.
At over six minutes, unwieldy jazz-tinged, piano-led, forever-growing, proto-prog monster ‘Widower’ is the heralded keystone of Option Paralysis. Along with the opening track, this is possibly the greatest indicator of what this band has become capable of: the unbridled cacophony and ensuing restraint; the taxing, refined musicianship married to a masterful sense of duty in Puciato’s lyrics; the flowing movements amongst an intangibly skewed arrangement; the bruising broadside and the gentle kiss that really does make it all better.
Their fourth record will not distance The Dillinger Escape Plan from scenes of technical riffery beyond the imaginations of most and a musical cruelty that is just too much for the musical palette of the majority but scratch the surface and you will struggle to find another album that is as listenable, as thought-provoking and so downright rewarding as this all at once. With Option Paralysis, DEP have surpassed their own excellent standards. Listen and be amazed.
Sounds like: The only mathcore band you ever need think about
Top tracks: Widower, Parasitic Twins & Farewell, Mona Lisa
The Dillinger Escape Plan – Option Paralysis tracklisting
Farewell, Mona Lisa
Gold Teeth on a Bum
Room Full of Eyes
I Wouldn’t If You Didn’t