The Dillinger Escape Plan

Option Paralysis

Written by: AP on 29/05/2010 02:55:40

The best way to describe The Dillinger Escape Plan’s breakthrough with “Calculating Infinity” is that it was the equivalent of going to the moon in the 1920s: an impossible task which many had dreamt of but which remained a fantasy realm – except The Dillinger Escape Plan actually did it. Prior to its conception, there was just no conceivable way that music as unpredictable as theirs would be accepted into the mainstream, or into any scene for that matter. But here they are with album number four, having suffered through bankruptcy and numerous changes to their line-up, commanding a status as one of the most notorious, innovative and fiercely independent bands in music.

“Option Paralysis” is the band’s answer to the indecision that humans experience in the face of infinite choice, and if we reduce the concept to simply describing the oversaturated state of the music industry, then the album might provide an alternative which stands second to none. There are no compromises and no sacrifices made here to ease you into the chaos as “Farewell, Mona Lisa” reminds us. Like the eponymous “Panasonic Youth”, the song presents us with a cyclone of impetuous, discordant noise with the underlying assumption that if such madness feels difficult to digest, you’re simply out of luck and probably better off listening to something a little more restrained, because this album is not going get any friendlier. Gradually the song evolves into a less punishing affair which unfolds the band’s close relationship with musical prodigies Mike Patton and Trent Reznor, and more so than ever before, Greg Puciato’s dramatic croon proves that his vocal treasure chest is something to truly behold.

Indeed, while it is true that The Dillinger Escape Plan’s music has always been boldly experimental, “Option Paralysis” places far more emphasis on the unexpected, blending metal with lounge jazz, hardcore with classic rock solos, bloodcurdling screaming with pop choruses, and time-bending polyrhythms with dark ambience and the odd electronica glitch. Still for every “Widower” and “Parasitic Twins”, both of which are Mike Patton inspired progressive power ballads, there’s another aural assault in “Good Neighbor”, “Crystal Morning” and “Endless Endings” lest we forget who we are dealing with and as such, “Option Paralysis” is both futuristic and retrospective. The psychotic chaos that most of us have come to associate with and expect from this band has not been forgotten or even limited – instead, some of the more adventurous pieces like the aforementioned “Farewell, Mona Lisa”, as well as “Gold Teeth On A Bum” and “Room Full of Eyes” contain the best of both worlds and are consequently somewhat lengthier than usual.

Unlike past albums “Option Paralysis” is also produced to sound like a metal album and the reasons for this are revealed in the grandiose moments of climactic escalation that have been written into “Gold Teeth On A Bum“, “Chinese Whispers” and “I Wouldn’t If You Didn’t”. And once the acidic outro of “Parasitic Twins” concludes the album with some of the oddest stuff this band has ever attempted, one cannot but lean back in awe and queue up track one to repeat the experience. Where “Ire Works” came across as somewhat tame courtesy of the abundant samples and electronic elements, “Option Paralysis” plays like a best-of effort, combining the band’s melodic complexion with the madness that Mike Patton brought in with “Irony Is a Dead Scene” and bundles them with the devastating extremity which has earned the band so much infamy. It may not be the band’s finest effort, but it is their most creative and explorative outing to date, as well as another testament to the importance of The Dillinger Escape Plan’s existence - an absolutely stunning feat of space-age hyperbolism, calculated chaos musicianship extraordinaire.


Download: Farewell, Mona Lisa, Endless Endings, Room Full of Eyes, Chinese Whispers, I Wouldn’t If You Didn’t
For the fans of: Beecher, Botch, Ephel Duath, Faith No More, Nine Inch Nails
Listen: MySpace

Release date 23.03.2010
Party Smasher Inc. / Season of Mist

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