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Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, inventive and ingenious: a modern metal masterpiece, 14 Jan. 2008
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This review is from: Ire Works (Audio CD)
In case you didn't get the memo, the Dillinger Escape Plan are freakin' AWESOME. 1999's Calculating Infinity is one of the most influential hardcore/metal albums of all time, and while it may still be the last word in ultra-complex aural punishment, their subsequent recorded output has ensured they've kept the bar suitably high. 2004's Miss Machine is still a personal favourite, despite the fact that in many people's eyes it lacked the sheer, uncompromising brutality of its predecessor. Nevertheless, it marked a step forward in the evolution of the band - not least because it was their first release with new frontman Greg Puciato - and was followed by a download-only EP featuring 3 covers and 2 re-recorded tracks from Miss Machine. However, following the departure of drummer and founder member Chris Pennie, the emergence of a new DEP full-length appeared to be in doubt until autumn last year...

And so to Ire Works. Well, if you haven't heard it already, there is one track in particular on this album that sums up exactly where Dillinger are at right now. That track is called 'Black Bubblegum' - a stunning, impossibly catchy pop/metal number that features the muscle-bound Puciato snarling like a constipated pitbull one moment and crooning, Justin Timberlake-style, the next. As one reviewer has already noted, this isn't the DEP that fans of Calculating Infinity will know and love, but to disown a band for being this inventive, this ballsy and this capable of side-stepping any silly labelling (spazz-core? What does that actually MEAN?!) would be just plain stupid. Make no mistake: Ire Works is a masterpiece of creativity, the band unafraid of virtually any undertaking (as the aforementioned Black Bubblegum illustrates) and - what's more - pulling it off with style and panache. So, whether they're tipping their hat to My Chemical Romance on 'Milk Lizard' or working in passages of restrained, sonic creepiness, you're guaranteed of a surprising, enthralling listen throughout.

That's not to say they don't go full tilt on Ire Works in the old, traditional DEP style (see opener 'Fix Your Face', 'Lurch' and 'Party Smasher') but what marks this album out as something special is the fact that the band can deliver a damn good tune along with the requisite technical wizardry - a simple pleasure, for sure, but one that far too many bands of the Dillinger Escape Plan's ilk forget about.

Matt Pucci
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