The Dillinger Escape Plan - _Irony Is a Dead Scene_
(Epitaph Records, 2002)
by: Xander Hoose (10 out of 10)
I've been listening to many albums featuring Mike Patton in one function or the other (Mr Bungle, John Zorn, Atomsmasher, Faith No More) and on every album his influence is pretty clearly audible, but I doubt that he ever put his label on a band as much as he did with The Dillinger Escape Plan. For those of you who are devote followers of this band, as I am, _Irony Is a Dead Scene_ might come as quite a shock. Where the band used to pursue a mathematically precise course through hardcore with jazzy aspects, Mike Patton's cooperation seems to have drifted this band away from both mathematics as well as hardcore. What remains is a strange and unique hybrid between noisecore, metal, pop, jazz and even nu-metal and avantgarde. Where "When Good Dogs Do Bad Things" is a good example of the different style they have taken on, it still has many of the trademark DEP touches; the track that might really surprise you is "Pig Latin". This is what Slipknot would be doing if they were into noisecore, but Mike Patton does more. Traditional heavy metal singing? Why not. Without doubt, "Pig Latin" is DEP's most curious and dared song ever. "Rock Paper" is quite different: with its slightly more conventional approach, this sounds more like old DEP material, except for the vocals. But just when you think you're ready for anything, the final song will throw you off track once more and at least make you raise your eyebrow. While some may think this is just an utterly strange song, the more open-minded listeners will immediately recognize this track as being a cover of Aphex Twin's "Come to Daddy", closely following the original except in using instruments instead of electronics. It's a downright shame that Mike Patton's collaboration was a one-time project now that DEP found a new vocalist, because _IIaDS_ is one of the most daring, intriguing and psychotic albums I've heard in a long time.

(article published 1/9/2002)


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