The Dillinger Escape Plan

Miss Machine

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That's it, screwheads. It's over. Pack up your trunks, deconstruct the drum kit, and hightail it back to Athens, 'cause the Dillinger Escape Plan just handed you your ass. Again. "Surprise!" new vocalist Greg Puciato begins on "Van Damsel." "It's not what you thought as it runs a dead stop." A thousand bands would've quit at "...what you thought"; Dillinger adds "runs a dead stop," and makes you leap out of the way of its hardcore car crashing into the jazz establishment. No kidding! After five years, the band has lost nothing, only gained. Time signatures are a play toy, genres are a joke, and the wannabes' goofy "I'm so tortured, listen to me scream" is nowhere to be found. Here, jarring instrumental changes work as a bitches' brew of stealthy genius, sticking you with a shiv and changing faces in the dark. Technical metal, righteous hardcore, twittering jazz interludes, and starkly melodic, seemingly post-punk-inspired segments all put the punters soundly in their place. Miss Machine doesn't even really seem that angry. Well, not anger for anger's sake, anyway. Cuts like "Panasonic Youth" and "We Are the Storm" are fueled by a manic alchemy of metal and hardcore, and Puciato's veins couldn't have survived the sessions. But the rage is artful; it's an integral part of Dillinger's larger performance. In the near future, rich women and fuddy-duddies will consider Miss Machine through opera glasses as sweaty children lash each other with cat-o'-nine-tails. There's nothing more to say -- the next true image of rock & roll has crawled out of the swamps of Jersey.

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