Toasty Taranna #20: Sonic Boom #4: Dillinger Escape Plan – The Dillinger Escape Plan
Since seeing DEP in concert, I became a convert. I grab up their stuff whenever I see it in my travels. Like this 1997 EP, which was recorded in their early days, when they were still (technically, I suppose) under their original band name, Arcane. These 6 tracks, with Dmitri on vocals (of course), are crazy good. I loved them all, that hardcore punk with mathcore creeping in beautifully. It’s fun to hear their nascent sound. Recommended.
Hit It Or Quit It? Hit!
As I mentioned a couple of times in yesterday’s posts, I could easily have spent a whole lot more in BMV and Sonic Boom than I did. Actually, I feel I showed excellent restraint, even though I still got a pile of great tunes! Man, given unlimited funds, I’d have told them to back up a truck and we could start loading it up…
Anyway, there were too many great records I left behind to list them all, but three come to mind as worthy of mention…
1 – Refused – The Shape Of Punk To Come (2CD/1DVD set), at BMV. It was only $9.99. The second CD was a live set, and the DVD had the videos and a documentary.
But I reasoned that I already own the CD itself, and would I use the other discs that much when it’s the album I really love? I left it, in favour of spending that $10 on other things.
2 – Pavement – Wowee Zowee (original LP), at BMV. It was a new arrival. The guy said it was $25 because it was VG or VG+. Woulda been more if it was in better shape (he said). But there was some wear on the jacket and the LPs were OK but not VG+ in my mind. Still, how often do you see an original Pavement LP? Because I never see them! It was reeeeaaaallllly tempting because I love Pavement so much, but I left it because that was a lot for one LP and not the nicest copy (yet still the only copy I’ve ever seen). You see my dilemma. I texted Mike and he said it’s about that price online but the shipping kills. Gah!
3 – Dillinger Escape Plan – Instrumentalist 7″ (RSD 2017), at Sonic Boom. I didn’t get any RSD stuff this year, and I am a fan of DEP. But apparently not the biggest fan as I had this $12.99 7″ in my hand a while before finally putting it back. It was only two songs, and $6.50 per song is steep when I already had a basket full of other goodies. I dunno, it was real tempting, but how much would I play it? But it’s awesome and collectible… Gah!
A few times today, I feel like I probably shoulda just bought them anyway. I’d have been happy with all of them. And I know that they’ll be looong gone by the time I get back there, likely in the fall, with Mike. Ah well. I’m super-happy with what I did bring home, so these will be the ones that got away!
I had this album on my Must Get Albums Of 2016 List, and here it finally is. I LOVED IT!
This one rules. It’s punk, metal, jazz, atmospheric, electronic, melodic, crazy, razor sharp… They’ve taken chances here (strings?!), but then again it wouldn’t be friggin’ Dillinger if they hadn’t.
Dillinger is done after this, (their 6th) record. Ben Weinman announced they’d “go out while we’re still on top,” and they’ve nailed it. As a parting statement, this one is a fucking perfect record. It’s bittersweet to see them go, but I understand.
The Mullet Burden lures you in with a quiet intro, then BAM! it knocks your fucking head off. Crazy shit is go! Let’s break stuff!
Sandbox Magician balances the sandblasting with some actually pretty bits, like the ending breakdown. Mind-bending fretwork on those guitars! And finally, Abe The Cop is pure sludge that swallows too much amphetamine. Killer work here, it rests but not for long! The laughing lady’s creepy.
It’s been re-released with live tracks, mine’s the old one.
Quick split EP, Nora gets two tracks: The Power Of is pure screaming metal punk fun, still melodic. Murder One chugs until it explodes. When it’s in full flight, it’s a great driving aggression track.
Sandwiched between those two, DEP’s 4th Grade Dropout is typical DEP – rapid-fire, complicated time signatures and sounds, wonky absolute power and energy.
These two bands compliment each other, in these tracks they’re very much alike. At under ten minutes, this will still exhaust you!
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*
Gold Teeth On A Bum*
Sunshine The Werewolf
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.