The Dillinger Escape Plan

Irony Is a Dead Scene

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When Dillinger Escape Plan opened for Mike Patton's Mr. Bungle in 1999, the show was a dream for fans of experimental metal. When a break between vocalists allowed Dillinger Escape Plan to seek out a collaborator to fill the time, Patton seemed like an inspired choice to mix up their assault. Despite the ridiculously high expectations from both artists' fan bases, Irony Is a Dead Scene is a brilliant collaboration between the two. Coming off as a challenge to the stale rap metal scene that often sites Patton as an influence, it's hard not to view this as the natural progression of Faith No More's King for a Day... sound. Dillinger Escape Plan builds mountains of molten guitar riffs and eerie sound effects into an angular landscape of complex ideas, just to let Patton pull the whole thing together with his multi-faceted croon. One only needs to hear the Mel Blanc-meets-Ian MacKaye jabbering on "When Good Dogs Do Bad Things" to understand how brilliant he can be on the microphone, and if that doesn't convince listeners, then maybe the falsetto breakdown or grizzled rap found later in the song can do the job. The songwriting here is truly inspired, displaying the prodigious chops of Dillinger better than anything they've done since Calculating Infinity. It would be impossible to cite all the genres covered in the 18 minutes of music here, but this band has truly earned its standing as the heir to Faith No More's infamous versatility. A disappointing cover of Aphex Twin's "Come to Daddy" (barely) fails to match the original's unpleasant atmosphere and manic approach, but otherwise this is an excellent EP that confounds as much as it inspires. To anyone disillusioned with the mainstream metal scene in 2002, this is what rock-radio junkies were missing out on that summer.

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