Dillinger Escape Plan
"Miss Machine"

(Relapse Records 2005)Dillinger Escape Plan - Miss Machine

Any fan of any kind of rock and roll will tell you that throughout the history of music, switching a lead singer will most likely sink a band. Ronnie James Dio ruined Black Sabbath, David Coverdale tarnished Deep Purple, Sammy Hagar stunk up Van Halen and The Cult's Ian Astbury committed musical blasphemy a couple years back when he took the role of front man for the newly reformed Doors. However the time-honored "singer-switcharoo" stigma had failed to blemish The Dillinger Escape Plan, who have come back with their first album in almost five years led by the short yet colossal presence of new singer Greg Puciato who has been replaced by former lead vocalist Dimitri Minakakis. On an album chock full of jazzy breakdowns, and the serrated dual guitar attack from Ben Weinman and Brian Benoit, Dillinger Escape Plan is not the metal that used to reside the tape deck of your older brother's car.

The tree shredder grind of "Panasonic Youth" has a rudimentary King Crimson type backbone that thrusts the track into a rather spastic mode as the fist-pumping "Sunshine the Werewolf" gets a little eerie with a spread out doom-metal breakdown and scattered horn arrangements. Drummer Chris Pennie gives a beating to his percussion that is on par with the sound of a set of car keys being stuck in a garbage disposal as Puciato's screeching gets thrusts the instrumentation into a Medieval tone as heard earlier this year on the album "Blessed Black Wings" from label mates High on Fire.

Dillinger Escape Plan shake out their old-school jitters as bassist Liam Wilson gives his grooves a go with a twist of the antisocial, troublemaking, skatepunk/hardcore licks reminiscent of Black Flag circa 1981 on "Highway Robbery". Even the broody snottiness of "Babys First Coffin" will no doubt go over well with listeners who grew up on Suicidal Tendencies.

One of the aspects that make "Miss Machine" so captivating is DEP's multifarious sense of adventure that they adhere to in the craftsmanship of their song structures. The placidly induced industrial music mindset as heard on NIN's "The Downward Spiral" takes heed on the technically mesmerizing "Phone Home" as the wobbling rhythms on the verses glide into a death metal overdrive coated in hazy psychedelics. Puciato can even breathe fire with his voice as shown on "We Are the Storm," quite possibly the only metal song surrounded by and icy ambient shell as the lurking creepiness heard on "Dark Side of the Moon" is brought to mind on the fifty second sound collage "Crutch Field Tongs". Even a spunky organ hook mends its way into the ear-splitting droning of "Setting Fire to Sleeping Giants".

Ever since the dawn of the 21st century, metal music had become more arty and progressive as an movement that provides an alternative to the Orange County emo-takeover that has raped every last shred of dignity that the Warped Tour had left and to some degree, Ozzfest as well. Dillinger Escape Plan has done nothing short of starting a revolution that now officially makes today's metal, music for the thinking man. With that being said, they are the best thing to come out of New Jersey since Campbell's Chunky Soup.


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