ONE OF US IS THE KILLER – SUMERIAN RECORDS/PARTY SMASHER RECORDS
The Dillinger Escape Plan has held a special place in my heart since high school. They were the second “metal” band I was ever introduced to and listening to Miss Machine (2004) was always a cathartic and incredibly difficult experience that was somehow accentuated when I backtracked and was pulverized by Calculating Infinity (1999). Yesterday, I dove into my music catalogue and spun tracks from the aforementioned records and the Irony is a Dead Scene 12-inch, and that feeling I once experienced had diminished. Spins of somewhat comparable albums, including The End’s Transfer Trachea Reverberations from Point: False Omniscient (2002) and Ion Dissonance’s Breathing is Irrelevant (2003) did not yield the same result. So, what is going on?
I have become part of that group that feels “Dillinger peaked long ago.” Which, quite frankly, is idiotic. The media has tripped over the band since the early 2000s for a reason: they are incredible musicians. They’ve skillfully made Dillinger evolve through the use of pop deviations, gorgeous piano interludes, clean singing and occasionally vocal harmonies à la Mike Patton and Justin Timberlake covers. The foundation is rock-solid: erratic, bizarre time signatures, more riffs in a song than many acts have in one album, jarring growls. This is music musicians marvel at. Since day one, they’ve had a drummer who is nearly unrivalled in skill. They have an incomparably intense live show.
But… I’ve heard this stuff before and this album doesn’t feature the same fearless diversions that made previous albums so striking. Had One of Us is the Killer come out in 2007, I would have been impressed. But, right now, it feels like par for the course and that’s not turning my crank. Maybe I should put in my dentures and go drink some warm milk before I fall asleep at 7:30 p.m.
By Sarah KitteringhamAB, Alberta