Finally, I went head to head with the Dillinger Escape Plan’s new album, ‘One Of Us Is The Killer’. You know what, there is a very good reason people talk so highly of this album…that’s because its a sonic phenom.
This review will serve only one purpose: by introducing you to the Dillinger Escape Plan, via this exquisite album; coaxing you out of your shell of musical elitism by means of earth shatteringly eclectic musicianship, thus catapulting your pre-conceptions of genre out of the front window; forcing you to crucify those who damn its credibility in fits of passion, only to realise in a moment of peace, that some of the world just isn’t ready for the music made by these New Jersey virtuosos but, you are, you are one of the enlightened.
Now, lets just say that the DEP aren’t for everybody (I know what I just said, give it a second), not everyone can handle a three hundred pound bodybuilder who sounds crazier than everyone else on the psych-ward. Nor, do you expect for his band of merry musical men to make sounds that perplex the ears into weeping. In short their music is challenging, perceived as anti-music and a little ‘heavy’ at times (the two are often synonymous). No one said ‘Art’ was easy.
‘One Of Us Is The Killer’, is quite a landmark for the boys of DEP, and that’s saying something. Considering their stunningly self-ruminating 2010 release, ‘Option Paralysis’ and the all time classic, ‘Miss Machine’ (2004), DEP’s new album ‘must be a real corker’.
To begin, for those of you who haven’t heard anything by DEP before, go straight to the more harmonically friendly tracks like, ‘Paranoia Shields’ or the eponymous ‘One Of Us Is The Killer’. Posing as nice rounded songs with formidable hooks that could catch a whale, these tracks will begin to introduce you to the kind of music DEP are known for (but not loved).
Moving on swiftly. The key to this album, if you can boil it down to just one thing, is its personal presence. The album’s range of influences makes the mind boggle at times; hosting fine jazz, hardcore-punk, Hammond-organ funk, ray-gun noises, alterna-indie rock riffs etc. etc. etc. all under the guise of one band’s sound? DEP have managed to take full command of every sound they make, crafting everything they do into finely tuned songs of meaning and power. ‘Magic That I Held You Prisoner’ and ‘Understanding Decay’ are two songs that show the extent of the ownership DEP have over their music; putting a beautifully personal touch on every part without it feeling like a mere pastiche of genres.
Of course, lest we not forget DEP’s own brand of crushing intensity, with songs like ‘Prancer’, ‘Hero Of The Soviet Union’ and ‘CH 375…’ we know we are firmly in the mindscapes of these Morris Plains rockers; cue soaring vocal harmonies, infallible guitars and precision drumming.
A ‘metal’ album that everyone can listen to rarely comes around; ‘One Of Us Is The Killer’ is an album that dares to explore the noetic products of post-modern society and still be entirely listenable.
Written by Matthew Iredale
Photo’s by Matthew Iredale and Emma Jeffery