Unabletothinkofname Reviews: The Dillinger Escape Plan : Ire Works

I was every question that never had an answer


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The Dillinger Escape Plan's 13-year-career has been based around making near-unlistenable, jerky and confusing mathcore. Their
3rd album, 2007's Ire Works cemented their formula of pumelling technical hardcore combined with contorted pop and unnerving,
glitchy atmospheric interludes. Voted in venerable rock rag Kerrang!'s end-of-year poll as the 2nd best album of the year (beating
Machine Head's The Blackening and Avenged Sevenfold's self-titled album in the process), the album recieved high critical praise,
and yet the band remain very much an underground proposition.

Backstory


Dillinger were formed from the ashes of a hardcore punk band by guitarist Ben Weinman and drummer Chris Pennie. Since their
formation in 1997 the band has undergone over 10 line-up changes, turning over 4 guitarists, 2 drummers, a bassist and a vocalist, often
due to severe injury (their original bassist was paralysed in a car accident, and longtime guitarist Brian Benoit quit due to a wrist injury
acquired onstage).

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(RIGHT) The Dillinger Escape Plan (l-r, Gil Sharone, Greg Puciato, Liam Wilson, Ben Weinman, Jeff Tuttle)

Weinman remains the only original member, the Ire Works lineup consiting off Greg Puciato (vocals), Weinman and Jeff Tuttle (guitars), Liam Wilson (bass) and Gil Sharone (drums, since replaced by Billy Rymer, who made his debut on this year's Option Paralysis.)

Review

Unsurprisingly for a Dillinger album the first two tracks tear furiously out of the gate, "Fix Your Face" and "Lurch" being the typical jerky hardcore stormers in the vein of 43% Burnt, and although they're fairly unremarkable, lacking anything in particular to distinguish them from better Dillinger hardcore tracks such as Sunshine the Werewolf or Jim Fear.

An unexpected turn follows in what is the album's best section by far, the two "pop" songs linked by around eight minutes of strange, atmospheric interludes and brief hardcore slaps in the face. The first "song" in the section, "Black Bubblegum", starts with a abrasive, funky groove, Puciato's nasal Trent Reznor-esque sneer chiming with the dischordant guitars and harmonizing eerily with Weinman's falsetto on the bridge, before a dark, magnificently catchy chorus. The jarring guitar of the late-song freakout startle slightly before it returns for one last blast of the chorus before abruptly stopping.

The first of the interludes is also the longest at 2 minutes, "Sick on Sunday"'s chiming jazz percussion layered over pounding toms, fast-picked guitars, haywire electronics and a hysterical, banshee-like scream that nearly made me fall out of my seat, before Puciato's falsetto croons the last 30 seconds of the song to bed. "When Acting As A Particle" is the weirdest, bashed gongs and cymbals combining with horror-film violin that's guaranteed to be one of the most unnerving musical minutes of your life. Picking up the pace considerably is "Nong Eye Gong", like a shorter version of the opening two tracks, but like those is considerably unremarkable. "When Acting As A Wave" recalls Calculating Infinity's title track, a brief, jazzy hardcore instrumental, followed by another distinctly unremarkable stomper in "82588".

The interludes are now over, leading into my favourite track on the album, "Milk Lizard" (a favoured username of mine). A snarling classic rock riff backs up Puciato's wail and saucy, 70's cop show horns, with another abrasively dark chorus like Black Bubblegum.

Another brief stormer "Party Smasher" precedes "Dead as History", an almost balladic twisted love song, around 2 minutes of industrial atmosphere, lightly played classical guitar and piano, before a juddering, straightforward metal riff starts up, the song boasting one of Puciato's finest vocal performances on the album, fading out with wishful falsetto and a mournful piano riff.

"Horse Hunter" is the best fast track on the album (I would say that, given the guest vocal by Mastodon's Brent Hinds), and while closing the album with a 7-minute jazz track "Mouth of Ghosts" would be unthinkable for most metal bands, Dillinger do it and make a damn fine job of it, too.

The TL;DR

In short, Ire Works is by no means for everyone-the undanceable time signatures, shifting of tones, eerie pop songs and, as mentioned, closing a metal album with a jazz epic? What?
Somehow, however, Dillinger pull it off. It's not an album for everyone, or even most, but for those who crack its hard shell, the rewards are huge. If you're an open-minded metal fan-scratch that, open minded music fan-your collection is incomplete without this.

Recommended Tracks



I don't know why these guys are so well praised by critics.

Their music is so annoyingly loud and obnoxious that it's almost impossible to listen to.

Anyway, great review. Keep it up!

Not a lot of music reviewers here so it's nice to see good ones.

Ah, how I do hate this band so. They just...irritate me. Still, even grumpy old me can still realise that this review is the shiznit! You write like an actual music critic. Take that how you will, but it does mean you could make a job out of it.

EDIT: I tried listening to one of the songs.

No no no no no.

Julianking93:
I don't know why these guys are so well praised by critics.

Their music is so annoyingly loud and obnoxious that it's almost impossible to listen to.

Anyway, great review. Keep it up!

Not a lot of music reviewers here so it's nice to see good ones.

Furburt:
Ah, how I do hate this band so. They just...irritate me. Still, even grumpy old me can still realise that this review is the shiznit! You write like an actual music critic. Take that how you will, but it does mean you could make a job out of it.

Honestly, that's not surprising. They are fairly loathed.
Although I'd expect someone like you, Furb, to appreciate such atonal "music".
Still, though, they have their fans, scattered as they are.

UnableToThinkOfName:

Honestly, that's not surprising. They are fairly loathed.
Although I'd expect someone like you, Furb, to appreciate such atonal "music".
Still, though, they have their fans, scattered as they are.

I don't mind atonality, but dammit, it's got to have a groove.

Furburt:

UnableToThinkOfName:

Honestly, that's not surprising. They are fairly loathed.
Although I'd expect someone like you, Furb, to appreciate such atonal "music".
Still, though, they have their fans, scattered as they are.

I don't mind atonality, but dammit, it's got to have a groove.

It DOES have groove!
Listen to Dead As History. It's fairly industrial.

UnableToThinkOfName:

It DOES have groove!
Listen to Dead As History. It's fairly industrial.

Not bad, but still, not something I'd listen to. Not groovy enough!

At least, my type of groove. Besides, my type of industrial is the more 'organic' end like Einsturzende Neubaten or Chrome, I've never liked the programmed sound.

Furburt:

UnableToThinkOfName:

It DOES have groove!
Listen to Dead As History. It's fairly industrial.

Not bad, but still, not something I'd listen to. Not groovy enough!

At least, my type of groove. Besides, my type of industrial is the more 'organic' end like Einsturzende Neubaten or Chrome, I've never liked the programmed sound.

I dig. It's not for everyone, like I said. Hell, it's barely for anyone..
I like it, though, and the critics do, too, which I can't understand at all.

UnableToThinkOfName:

I dig. It's not for everyone, like I said. Hell, it's barely for anyone..
I like it, though, and the critics do, too, which I can't understand at all.

Dig I do, dig I do.

Still, live and let live!

I'm sure I've heard of these guys before. Dammit, why are they so familiar?
Anyway, good review.
I really enjoy your music reviews, there should be more of them IMO.

EDIT: Just listened to a bit of one of their songs. It's not really for me, but it's not bad or anything.

Good Review
Awful Music
These are my opinions

You write really well and explain the subject thouroughly. Keep it up! Review something nicer next time, like New Orleans Jazz

I love Dillinger. Their new album is also fantastic.

Well written review

GrinningManiac:
Good Review
Awful Music
These are my opinions

You write really well and explain the subject thouroughly. Keep it up! Review something nicer next time, like New Orleans Jazz

NO
I review metal because I can write about it, because I've read metal magazines for about a year, and been reading music magazines in general for about 2 and a half.
I've never once listened to anything from New Orleans, except Down.

Jory:
I love Dillinger. Their new album is also fantastic.

Well written review

HA! Another fan.
I've only really listened to Farewell, Mona Lisa, from the new one. It's good then?
Thing is, I really only like Miss Machine and Ire Works. Calculating Infinity is a bit much for me.

Track 3... My god does that singer want to be Mike Patton.

I never liked them, but actually those tracks weren't too bad. Some good guitar riffs and stuff.

The rythms are failry standard, mostly just 4/4. Don't see why everyone thinks it's so 'mathematical'.

Track 3 also made me think of Cave In a bit.

As for the review... really well written again. I like your style a lot.

MiracleOfSound:
Track 3... My god does that singer want to be Mike Patton.

Well, Patton did sing for them on their Irony Is A Dead Scene EP. I think he sounds more like Trent Reznor mixed with Scout from TF2.

I never liked them

SURPRISE

, but actually those tracks weren't too bad. Some good guitar riffs and stuff.

I think Milk Lizard has a great riff.

The rythms are failry standard, mostly just 4/4. Don't see why everyone thinks it's so 'mathematical'.

Track 3 also made me think of Cave In a bit.

Well, they jerk around a lot. If you listen to 43% Burnt, Farewell Mona Lisa or Lurch, the rhythms are very jerky.

As for the review... really well written again. I like your style a lot.

8D. Thanks. I do read a lot of music rags, so I suppose I pick up on it.

UnableToThinkOfName:

HA! Another fan.
I've only really listened to Farewell, Mona Lisa, from the new one. It's good then?
Thing is, I really only like Miss Machine and Ire Works. Calculating Infinity is a bit much for me.

Yeah I have the same opinion on Calculating Infinity. Miss Machine is by far my favourite.

I prefer the new album to Ire Works though. Definitely worth a listen.

GrinningManiac:

You write really well and explain the subject thouroughly. Keep it up! Review something nicer next time, like New Orleans Jazz

New York stuff is better.

Charlie Mingus!

But I think that might be a good idea. The mark of a good reviewer is to review something well while completely out of their element. I might pass Unable a couple of Jazz albums next time I see them and ask him to do them.

UnableToThinkOfName:
Paisleysnip

Kind Of Blue or Mingus Ah Um?

Furburt:

GrinningManiac:

You write really well and explain the subject thouroughly. Keep it up! Review something nicer next time, like New Orleans Jazz

New York stuff is better.

Charlie Mingus!

But I think that might be a good idea. The mark of a good reviewer is to review something well while completely out of their element. I might pass Unable a couple of Jazz albums next time I see them and ask him to do them.

UnableToThinkOfName:
Paisleysnip

Kind Of Blue or Mingus Ah Um?

Uh...
I'll ask Tom for some pointers. :p I might do a jazz album or a review of the MGMT album from a few years ago, that I loved.
at the time
I'll go for Kind of Blue. Even if the review will be fairly...broken.

Jory:

UnableToThinkOfName:

HA! Another fan.
I've only really listened to Farewell, Mona Lisa, from the new one. It's good then?
Thing is, I really only like Miss Machine and Ire Works. Calculating Infinity is a bit much for me.

Yeah I have the same opinion on Calculating Infinity. Miss Machine is by far my favourite.

I prefer the new album to Ire Works though. Definitely worth a listen.

I think Ire Works' hardcore stuff isn't as good as on Miss Machine. Sunshine The Werewolf, Van Damsel and Panasonic Youth pretty much shit all over Ire's hardcore and Calculating Infinity.
I still prefer Ire as a whole though, and I will pick up the new one.

UnableToThinkOfName:

I'll go for Kind of Blue. Even if the review will be fairly...broken.

Grand so. I have a copy around somewheres.

*bursts through the door*... Well hello there. Nice review, good length and informative, the picture at the beginning is rather too big but that is more down to preference. Speaking of preference, I do not see the point of scores for music, it's a type of media that is dependant on a person's tastes to the point to which scores mean nothing. I'm not forcing you to get rid of it but it is a bit of a waste of space.

Stranger of Sorts:
Speaking of preference, I do not see the point of scores for music, it's a type of media that is dependant on a person's tastes to the point to which scores mean nothing. I'm not forcing you to get rid of it but it is a bit of a waste of space.

I mainly do it for a summing-up thing, which is why I put it in spoilers so people don't have to look if they don't want to.
I also tend to make the album picture big and keep the rest of the pics smallish. Under 250px.

 

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