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Dillinger Escape Plan Miss Machine

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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 10. Unretrofied 11. The Perfect Design
2004 Relapse Records
Our score 8

by John C.
8/29/2004

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.

Comments (28) post new comment
izold_ 8/2/2004 5:03:36 PM

all the great ones evolve,progress,expand horizons, dep did the same thing and it worked out very well. a singer with vocal options certainly helps and they're just getting better at writing music in general


RustyPS_ 8/11/2004 3:58:21 PM

izold speaks the truth


anonymous 8/15/2004 7:48:59 PM

penis.touch.feel.burn


Micke_ 8/29/2004 10:08:07 AM

GREAT f*ckING ALBUM.. DEP are back, stronger than ever. (Keep heavy music alive) peace


xemoryhardcorex_ 8/29/2004 10:56:04 AM

john lambgoat needs to write more reviews


Danny231_ 8/29/2004 1:14:00 PM

All the reviews on this site are too f*cking long. Everyone beats around the bush for a whole f*cking page. THIS RECORD IS GREAT! At first I did not like, but it definately grew on me in the best way possible.With all the Dillinger rip off bands its good DEP didn't try and make Calculating 2. This records is going to make everyone's dillinger rip off bands think twice about thier existance and next CD. f*ck DILLINGER RIP OFF BANDS!!! DEP f*cking kicked everyone in the dick with this. THE ARTWORK


Hawkin(s)_ 8/29/2004 7:07:58 PM

SHIT BAND TO THE MAX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1


kajsdlkfas_ 8/29/2004 7:59:03 PM

GREEEEEEGGGGGGA PUCIOTOOOOOOO!!!!! RED RANNNNNNGGGGGGAAAAAAA HENSHIN!!


School Teacher_ 8/30/2004 11:25:59 AM

If old Johnny L. liked this so much, why not a 9? And don't even tell me you took a point of for artwork. All I have to say about the artwork is if you are walking by, and see that cover you are going to know who that is. I'm sick and tired of blood splatters, and ominous abstract photos. Did anyone read the lyrics? They are just like the artwork. A bunch of different lines, merge together to form one hell of a album!! If any album reviewed on here deserves a 9 or even 10 its this one! F


dutchstep_ 8/30/2004 12:18:50 PM

Van Damsel is such a terrible song. Good choice on favorite track, though.


ugly old guy_ 8/30/2004 2:42:27 PM

I still haev respect for those guys because they are capable of releasing an album such as Calculating infinty. BUT...Irony is a Dead Scene made me want to vomit...there new stuff will probably be lame too. we'll see


jirmone_ 8/30/2004 2:59:36 PM

this album is one of the best in recent years, all who dislike this album can eat a dick...


Cory_ 8/30/2004 5:18:36 PM

John's review and score fit perfectly. The album is excellent, but not necessarily ground-breaking or near-perfect. In most cases at least one of the two apply to a nine or ten.


Lukecubed_ 8/30/2004 11:12:43 PM

Good review, basically on the money. This album smokes, but the songs "Highway Robbery" and "Setting Fire to Sleeping Giants" are basically big incoherent messes, so I'd dock some points. Also, it's not nearly as groundbreaking as the band and the label keep saying it is... but it IS a damn cool record, and it opens their sound up just enough that they have plenty of room to progress.


Dyami, LIAV_ 8/31/2004 5:12:18 AM

The Nine Inch Nails song that Dillinger covers is called "Wish" from the ep entitled "broken." There is no NIN song called "broken" - do your homework.


alex lambgoat_ 8/31/2004 9:39:00 AM

Do your homework? Yes, clearly this reviewer has rushed another review. I've a succinct piece of advice for you Dyami -- work on writing better songs, and worry less about one word in 700 word review.


zero_ 8/31/2004 2:01:50 PM

haha, he didnt say they covered "broken", he said it right the first time... Nine Inch Nails ("Wish")


anonymous 8/31/2004 3:05:32 PM

holy shit! the brotha from LIAV just got pwned!


Filipe_ 9/3/2004 7:26:19 AM

this album is great, no one had, have or will have the corage to make an album like this. it´s simple the best.


Atomsmasher_ 9/5/2004 1:04:39 PM

I must admit that i didn't think anything could be better than the Calculating and i still don't, but i do believe that DEP are onto something, their progressive sound will be the bench mark for others to follow. DEP are the future NOW!!


anonymous 9/30/2004 11:17:46 AM

This CD is way f*cking better than "Calculating Infirmiry"or whatever its called. Greg Puciato(did i spell it right) can actually sing and it is more electronic than their last CD.Though Greg is no Howard Jones(of killswitch, not the other howard jones)


Captain_Comic_ 10/6/2004 8:59:49 AM

Decent album.


slice your face_ 11/20/2005 9:58:32 AM

i give it 4.5/5 stars because it's very listenable. the heaviness isn't ridiculous scenexcheesexgrindxcrapxcorex-look-at-my-blast-beats! very much changed from CI but in a good way. CI was much too intense although it was as good as it could possibly be. this is just a really well written album -very simple. i cant wait for the new one. wow. buy this or else


phatbluntgovofmo_ 4/10/2006 9:04:00 PM

good review the truth told killswitch sux never caopare dep with kse again


old bean_ 4/18/2006 4:14:16 AM

Calculating Infinity and the Running Board e.p. were the only good things this band has put out. Dimitri was also a much better front man, simply because he wasn't a total dickhead, like Greg.


Systool_ 5/26/2006 3:17:10 PM

Simply a great album, to me one of 2004's best... DEP is yet more "listenable", adding some FAITH NO MORE influences to their sound (especially with the voice).


Dirk_ 12/6/2006 10:53:11 PM

One of the best albums of this new century. 9/10


analdisfigurment 7/22/2012 11:17:45 AM

so f*cking rad.