The Dillinger Escape Plan – Option Paralysis

When Craig and I saw Mastodon live in 2011, it was a night of firsts for me – first time even hearing most of Mastodon’s songs, but also first time hearing more than the one song I knew by The Dillinger Escape Plan. [We also missed Red Fang, sorry guys in Red Fang.]

And seeing TDEP live… well. They’re more than a little nuts. It was awesome! As I said (at that link above), I wasn’t sure how they were playing their instruments, jumping around like that. Or how the singer (Greg Puciato) has any voice left at all. But wow. Just WOW. And that was my first experience of TDEP: chaos, insanity, adrenaline, aggression…

How crazy is a live performance by these guys? Somebody took the time to put together a video of some of their best moments (and there are many): WATCH IT HERE.

Also, TDEP are labelled as mathcore, which is part of metalcore, which apparently comes from Black Flag. Cool. Anyway.

Recently, I found this album. I was in the mood to hear more by this band, and boy did I ever get an earful. Every song here is that same level of insanely good – rapid-fire drums, guitars ripping new ones everywhere, Puciato screaming like a banshee. This is punk, hardcore, metal, and it’s all more than a bit unhinged. Odd time signatures abound, and every song seems to have many sections that, at first, seem unrelated. It all holds together, but it takes repeat listens for it all to make sense, since most of it happens so fast.

Crystal Morning and Endless Endings are a 1-2 punch in the face. Chinese Whispers is really cool, and Farewell, Mona Lisa and Good Neighbor are killers. Room Full Of Eyes was another album highlight for me, and even had a bit of a NIN feel to it… Oh dear I hope I don’t insult anyone making that comparison. Haha. I Wouldn’t If You Didn’t is just punishing. Widower is a bit of a respite from the relentless melee… at least for the first three minutes, then it goes off like a bomb too. Parasitic Twins is muddy and a little trippy.

But Gold Teeth On A Bum was the song I knew (if you don’t know the first bit, let them get to the call-out hook. You’ll know it). When they played it at the concert, I perked up because I hadn’t thought I knew any of their songs, and yet I did know one! It’s a classic, a definite mixed CD track for me.

I did some digging online, since this was the most recent album to when we saw them play, and they played a 9 song set that night, as openers for Mastodon, 5 of which (*) came from this record. That’s 56%. Here’s the list:

Farewell Mona Lisa*
Room Full Of Eyes*
Milk Lizard
Panasonic Youth
Gold Teeth On A Bum*
Good Neighbour*
Chinese Whispers*
Sunshine The Werewolf
43% Burnt

It may seem a bit weird to be tying a concert experience from three years ago to a record review now but, to me, both are inextricably linked. Hearing this album brought back the show, and so I come full circle.

Oh, and I should mention, my fancy-pants digipak version with all the crazy fold-out flaps in it (and a slipcase too), came with a bonus track – Heat Deaf Melted Grill. It’s OK, there’s even what sounds like a cello and some other strings. It grows into a remix of a portion of Gold Teeth On A Bum. It’s fairly uninspiring, but interesting to hear in any case. In future I’ll let the 10 album tracks stand on their own and let this extra track be an oddity.


In sum: Hearing this from top to bottom, I feel as though I have been ridden hard and put down wet. Holy shit, this album is crazy busy. It rocks like hell, and is an absolute fucking challenge to all that you usually hear. Beautiful.

BONUS: For shits and giggles, watch the chaos build in this four song set.


Posted on June 19, 2014, in posts by aaron and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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