Take a song like “Parasitic Twins” 2010’s Option Paralysis with piano and clean, soulful singing. It’s called evolution, ladies and gentlemen, and it’s a wonderful, wonderful thing. There might have been some spots along the way where the band tended to borrow a little too heavily from some of their influences either intentionally or unintentionally (Patton, Reznor et al.), but they’re not screwing around with this latest offering.
Bottom line: The Dillinger Escape Plan’s fifth full-length One Of Us Is The Killer sounds like The Dillinger Escape Plan and no one else. This is a great thing.
Album opener “Prancer” makes the band’s mission statement pretty clear: There will be blood and you will be entertained. Ben Weinman’s high-pitched, dissonant guitar stabs the eardrum; Puciato roars like a Kodiak that was rudely awoken after a six month hibernation period; Billy Rymer and Liam Wilson keep the madness under relative control on the drums and bass respectively; and you, the listener, suddenly have the urge to freak the hell out and go berserker on anything and everything in sight. Rinse and repeat.
What also will draw you in are the hooks on this album. In some crazy alternate universe where everything rules, the title track would make the perfect James Bond theme. Beware Dillinger purists, it has more actual singing! “Nothing’s Funny” also has the kind of catchy chorus that might even grab your mom’s attention, but she probably wouldn’t care for the bit in the song that sounds like a piano getting into a fight with an angry swarm of bees.
And speaking of angry, I don’t know who or what has pissed off Greg Puciato lately, but he’s definitely laying it all out there with some seriously straight-to-the-point lyrics. Take for example, “You smell like s***” and “You are the scum of the earth” from “Hero of the Soviet Union,” which contains one thunderous breakdown a little over a minute in that’ll make you want to pull a Weinman (has someone coined this term already?) and hurl your body off the highest possible stack of amplifiers with absolutely no regard for human life.
There’s still a good amount of complex-as-all-hell song structure and insane diddly-doo Weinman riffs that come out of nowhere, but for the most part, the songs are heavy and straightforward...for a Dillinger album. One straightforward Dillinger song is like splitting atoms for any other metal band.
On One Of Us Is The Killer Dillinger does an excellent job of embracing their past and their present while taking one big step forward in the evolution of the band. I can’t wait to see what these maniacs have in store for us on the next go-around.
(released May 14, 2013 on Sumerian Records)