The band blames the weather, or at least their publicist does, and maybe there's something to that. Midwestern bands do seem angrier and louder than their coastal compatriots, perhaps due to all those long, cold winter nights and vast, open vistas that make one holler to be heard. Maybe it's merely lack of exercise; it's hard to skateboard through a cornfield and tougher to snowboard down a prairie or around Minnesota's many lakes. So Dillinger Four aren't your typical sleek hardcore heroes drenched in California sun and breezy melodies, but a quartet of pachyderm punks crashing out of the hinterland and Hopeless Records, who released their first two albums, and into the arms, appropriately enough, of Fat Wreck Chords. OK, really they're only big boned, but their sound is huge, and on Situationist Comedy they thunder and roar, slam and crash, walloping their way across the tracks, the musical equivalent of a demolition derby of two-ton trucks. Heaving into the musical elements of arena rock, old school punk, and speedcore and pouring the molten mass into a melodic mold, Dillinger Four rampages across genre divides and makes a mockery out of the term generic punk. Only one complaint: So large is the sound, that the vocals are pretty much trampled underneath. A crime really, as the group has much of import to impart, but thankfully lyrics are included in the CD booklet. Their most visited theme is nonconformity in the personal, business, and political realms, and the message is clear: stand up, stand strong, and be true to yourself. In the post-9/11 milieu, this is all the more important, which the lyric, "simple arguments now accusations of dissent," nicely sums up. Hypocrisy is flailed, privilege unveiled, and convictions ring true. A heavy-hitting album in every sense of the word.
Situationist Comedy Review
by Jo-Ann Greene