The Dillinger Escape Plan - One of Us is the Killer | Review

In an age over-burdened by data from thousands of sources, it comes as quite the achievement when a band whips up even an ounce of excitement. The Dillinger Escape Plan is one of those very bands and as with each studio LP since their mind-melting debut ‘Calculating Infinity’, the release of a new album remains a significant event. The math-core pioneers have been insidiously mutating their complex formula since 1997: taking riotous hardcore to its outer limits through jazz time-signatures and gradually melding melody, noise-rock jives and ambient electronica into a poisonous elixir. But more importantly, as evidenced by the band’s fifth and latest LP, ‘One of Us is the Killer’, The Dillinger Escape Plan has placed greater focus on song-writing while preserving the blinding musicianship that made their name.
The song-writing on ‘One of Us is the Killer’ is extremely strong, with the band—guitarist/composer Ben Weinman, vocalist Greg Puciato, bassist Liam Wilson, drummer Billy Rymer and new guitarist James Love—balancing melody upon incendiary instrumentation without losing one drop of the red-hot aggression that has made The Dillinger Escape Plan one of the most explosive live bands in the world. First single ‘Prancer’ and the title track off ‘One of Us is the Killer’ provide the perfect paradigm for this. The band’s restless ingenuity is ensnared by Puciato’s sharp lyrics and sinister vocal hooks; the dark-jazz undertones of the title track housing a colossal chorus that lurches into life and inhabits your ear-canal instantaneously. For the reason that maintaining a musical and lyrical narrative is paramount to ‘One of Us is the Killer’, the chaos we’ve come to expect from the band is controlled with extra emphasis placed on jagged grooves, while experimentation is minimal. This may disappoint those looking for ‘Black Bubblegum’-pop and ‘Parasitic Twins’-part two, but don’t let this fool you into thinking the band is less ambitious this time round: such moves are calculated to create a cohesive concept without having one diverse song outperform the rest. Instead the diversity of the past is subtly engrained into the music and Weinman and Puciato set paranoia and unease surging, which swamps the music in a tense atmosphere similar to Mike Patton’s work with the band on the ‘Irony Is a Dead Scene’ EP.
It is by far the darkest release since the much lauded EP, and the darkness suits the band. Many a title of honour, and not a few of shame, have been attached to the name The Dillinger Escape Plan. ‘One of Us is the Killer’ won’t change this judgement one bit, and when the tale of this seminal band has been written, this record may be the point when The Dillinger Escape Plan showed their worth as song-writers and not just provocative and inimitable musicians.

Dean Brown 

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Dean Brown is a metal scribe based in Ireland. He is currently a contributing editor to the North American cultural magazine Popmatters and he regularly throws words for a number of other reputable loud noise publications such as metal,,,, amongst others. He has a strong affinity for music that shakes souls and leaves debilitating tinnitus in its wake and such obsession has left him financially and medically crippled, but he wouldn’t have it any other way. Follow Dean on twitter @reus85