[ 21,196 views ]
01. Panasonic Youth MP3
02. Sunshine The Werewolf
03. Highway Robbery
04. Van Damsel
05. Phone Home
06. We Are The Storm
07. Crutch Field Tongs
08. Setting Fire to Sleeping Giants
09. Baby's First Coffin
11. The Perfect Design
The weight and expectation of Dillinger Escape Plan's newest full-length has finally come to face the jury. The burning question, of course, is whether the latest outing will even touch Calculating Infinity, a record that has had a significant influence on the current wave of hardcore and tech-metal bands that we either love or despise. But an equally pressing question should also be whether Miss Machine will even be memorable after a few spins. Similar bands have had to carry the burden of expectation because of (too many) years between releases. Hatebreed's Perseverence and Shai Hulud's That Within Blood Ill-Tempered come to mind. Those were good records for what they were. But in retrospect, they seemed like flashes in the pan, releases that just weren't memorable compared with their respective forerunners. Will DEP suffer the same fate
The most notable difference upon hearing Miss Machine, is the cleaner, less-electronic-heavy sound compared with Irony Is A Dead Scene. Understand that Dillinger still has incorporated plenty of electronica in several tracks. But it's used more efficiently to complement the mood and music written, and doesn't completely overpower they way it did on the EP with Mike Patton.
Musically, the group has definitely expanded their sound. Rest assured Calculating Infinity fans, there is still a solid amount of tech-metal. Songs such as "Pansonic Youth," "Sunshine the Werewolf," "We Are the Storm," and "Baby's First Coffin" exhibit the cacophonous technicality we've come to expect from the Jersey quintet, and will have all the rest of the tech bands scrambling to keep up.
But then there are tracks like "Setting Fire to Sleeping Giants" or "Unretrofied," probably the album's two most listener-friendly songs if the group was to make its debut on mainstream radio outlets. Both have a strong rock feel. In addition, there's more clean singing which displays vocalist Greg Pucioto's versatility, shunning any sort of preconception that he's a one-dimensional screamer/growler. The injection of melody and use of other instruments, such as chimes, also justify mention. Who ever thought a Dillinger song would have melody Or that it would use wind chimes Surprisingly, these new elements fit in quite well, thanks to some impressive song writing by the group.
Meanwhile, "Phone Home" has a distinct Nine Inch Nails sound to it (actually, throw "Unretrofied" in there too), with the vocals eerily emulating that of Trent Reznor's. The percussion, brooding electronics, orchestral accompaniment, and guitars are even uncannily comparable. So comparable, that if you played the song for a NIN fan without providing any knowledge of the source or recent developments of the band, they'd probably be convinced Reznor cut a single for an upcoming album that may or may not exist.
The production values of the record have no glaring faults. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the layout and artwork. The flesh collages of Carcass came to mind, but instead, you get a poor Photoshop cover attempting to meld portions of the female anatomy with everyday appliances and industrial parts. Incidentally, the artwork is handled by former DEP frontman Dimitri Minanakis. Nothing against the artist, but I just don't find the cover aesthetically pleasing.
Bottom Line: It's a bit of irony (no pun intended) that Dillinger has covered songs by the likes of Billy Idol ("Rebel Yell"), Nine Inch Nails ("Wish"), and Guns N' Roses ("My Michelle"). After spinning Miss Machine countless of times, you can actually hear the influences that the aforementioned bands, and their respective songs, had on this record. Of course, there is the Patton influence as well, as some of Tomahawk has seemed to also rub off. But that's not to say Dillinger brazenly plagiarized these groups. Instead, it carefully incorporated specific elements into the Dillinger sound. Combine that with newcomer Pucioto's vocals, which are more than capable of handling frontman duties, with some solid songwriting, and you've got a catchy record that still retains the intensity and technical prowess of past releases. Indeed, when you find yourself singing any one of the twelve tracks of Miss Machine from memory, Dillinger must be doing something right.
view all 28 comments