The Dillinger Escape Plan - _Miss Machine _
(Relapse Records, 2004)
by: Jackie Smit (9 out of 10)
Finally it's all starting to make perfect sense. When The Dillinger Escape Plan hooked up with eccentric oddball and one-time Faith No More frontman Mike Patton two years ago for the _Irony Is a Dead Scene_ EP, it left many people speculating as to the extent of his creative input in the effort. This was mainly due to the fact that up until said effort, Dillinger's relationship with melody had at best been whimsical; but as it turns out, the four songs recorded with Mr. Patton were the stepping stones to bigger and arguably better things, as is amply evidenced on _Miss Machine_.

In case it wasn't clear enough, _Miss Machine_ introduces a very different Dillinger. Although the mathcore mayhem of _Calculating Infinity_ still occupies a seat at the head of the creative table, DEP have taken a more measured and mature approach this time round, juxtaposing liberal amounts of groove against the sonic madness. That is only the half of their progression though. On "Setting Fire to Sleeping Giants", new boy Greg Puciato shows off his Patton-esque crooning skills to great effect on a chorus that is as simple as it is mind-bendingly ingenious. There's simmering electronica that leads the listener down the coal-black wind-tunnel of "Phone Home". And, lest one forget -- the (arguable) highlight of the album in the chugging grit of "Van Damsel".

Of course, it's almost unavoidable that ten steps forward for this band are going to equate to twenty steps in the wrong direction for a few elitists -- afraid that -their- band is going to be heard by more than five people. But if burning a few bridges is what it takes to produce something of this extraordinary quality, then I say: "Blowtorches at the ready!"


(article published 31/10/2004)

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