By Sarah Godfrey
Earlier this year, ever-buff Dillinger Escape Plan singer Greg Puciato bristled when MTV.com mockingly suggested he used steroids. His outrage was perfectly understandable, but there's a compliment hiding somewhere in that dig: Maybe it was just a backward way of recognizing the skill with which Puciato and his fellow DEP members jump between athletic musical precision and muscular rage?
(Metallic intricacy and genre-bending sophistication, after the jump.)
On "Option Paralysis," the band's fourth album, released on its own Party Smasher imprint, in conjunction with France's Season of Mist, the band continues to bring metallic intricacy and genre-bending sophistication, while still delivering an all-out hard-core slaughter.
For all its complicated, mathy goodness, "Option Paralysis" is not entirely unfriendly to outsiders, thanks to a smattering of awfully sweet melodies throughout. On "Gold Teeth on a Bum," Puciato has several moments of almost pretty vocals interspersed with his usual squall: "Couldn't you show me so that I may be saved?" he sings. The opening of "Widower" is all soft, twinkling piano chords - the torrent doesn't begin until four minutes in.
But there is also plenty of blunt force trauma. "Good Neighbor" is all complex dissonance: Ben Weinman, who has withstood the band's history of lineup changes, grizzly personal injury and experimentation to become its sole original member, shows incredibly adroit, dizzying fretwork, as usual. And "Room Full of Eyes" is an onslaught of masterful discordance that never runs out of juice.
Dillinger Escape Plan performs at the Ottobar in Baltimore on March 29.
Recommended tracks: "Good Neighbor," "Room Full of Eyes," "Gold Teeth on a Bum"