In the six years since Dillinger Escape Plan’s debut full-length ‘Calculating Infinity’ the band has gone from being a jazz – core band, praised by critics but hated by the majority of hard rock fans, to an increasingly popular band that is taking punk and metal into totally new places.

This has been helped by the high profile ‘Irony is a Dead Scene’ EP that the band did with Mike Patton, the former frontman of Faith No More. The music was still extreme as ever, but also added some melody and a cover of Aphex Twin’s ‘Come to Daddy’ which appeared on it really showed off the technical skills of the band, especially drummer Chris Pennie.

The real irony is that Dillinger are quickly becoming today what Faith No More were in the early 90's: experimental yet accessible enough for a wider audience, and ‘Miss Machine’ really shows this.

As well as having the standard metal-core scream, ‘new’ Dillinger singer Greg Puciato can also growl and sing in a similar style to Mike Patton and, dare I say it, Brandon Boyd from Incubus.

The band haven’t lost anything that made them worth listening to in the first place. The time changes, the jazz leads, dischords and huge riffs are all there, but there’s also a more focused song structure, not necessarily verse/chorus/verse, but more ambitious in its dynamics. Most songs stretch out to the four minute mark without feeling uncomfortable, which would have been the case for some of their earlier songs had they been longer.

The jazz influences are wider as well, from their previous atonal free jazz to sweeter, smoother flowing lines.

‘Panasonic Youth’ kicks off the album and also sets its tone. Aggressive and pretty damn heavy, it also has bits that, if not melodic, hook themselves into your head and cling on like mad. As the album progresses, the hooks keep coming back. ‘Highway Robbery’ is the first track to actually have a proper chorus, and by ‘Phone Home’, things really start to change. That track itself has a quiet/loud/quiet structure, with some of Dillinger’s ambient influences used in a proper song to great effect. A similar style is used on ‘Unretrofied’, an extremely surprising track with a very prominent, melodic chorus.

On other tracks, such as ‘Baby’s First Coffin’ and ‘We are the Storm’, the metal-core is broken up by long melodic sections, part modern melodic metal, part lounge jazz. This mix of noise and melody works incredibly well, with the album being referred to as a modern day version of Faith No More's ‘Angel Dust’. Whether this comparison is justified or not (Dillinger and Faith No More are still very different bands), Dillinger Escape Plan are definitely taking extreme rock music into new territories, and are likely to leave their mark on it for years to come.













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