New Jersey's Dillinger Escape Plan is the kind of band you appreciate rather than enjoy. Their 1999 debut LP, "Calculating Infinity," had critics falling all over themselves praising the band's intricate instrumentation, hardcore aggression and intelligent lyrics. After parting ways with singer Dimitri Minakakis, DEP have teamed up with former Faith No More frontman and all-around weird guy Mike Patton for this four-song EP. Patton, who's currently fronting at least four other bands, is the ideal choice to collaborate with DEP. His penchant for bizarre vocal noises and twisted lyrics perfectly complement the brutal noise supplied by DEP's five instrumentalists (two guitarists, a bassist, a drummer and a keyboardist).
While the musical sophistication may be admirable (some of the shifts in time signature remind the listener of free jazz) and the sheer aggression is impressive, "Irony Is a Dead Scene" is not always a joy to listen to. "When Good Dogs Do Bad Things" includes a lengthy section of what sounds like Patton gargling, and at times the sonic assault can become jarring. Still, DEP manage to take the basics of hardcore and heavy metal and craft a challenging and inventive set of songs. Hopefully, they'll be able to continue the trend when they find a permanent replacement for Minakakis.
- Josh Bell
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