on May 13, 2004
Oh, if Mike Patton had only stuck with these guys and dropped Tomahawk. This is one hell of an ep. There are only four songs, three of which are originals, but those three tracks are so good, you won't feel cheated.
I saw Dillinger open up for Mr. Bungle on the "California" tour. It was a little too much to take in. I was so excited about seeing Bungle, and this band seemed intent on bashing my brains in. However, I was intrigued enough to buy the record "Calculating Infinity." I was a little wary of the title. Sounded like pretentious prog crap. But it had Trey Sruance's seal of approval so I bought it. I was impressed. The music was extremely complex rhythmically and harmonically, but there was method to the madness. The band basically sounded like an angry, psychopathic computer. They were doing things with polyrhytms that I had never heard before. It was so new and so genuine - so promising. However, there was the problem of the monotone screamer who added nothing and really distracted from the subtlety and dynamics (yes, there are dynamics in this music) of the compositions.
Along comes Mike Patton for this ep. Holy Jebus! This is such an improvement. Patton brings more than his vocal abilities to the group. It is easy to see that he has also brought focus and vision to DEP that was missing before. He had more than a little to do with the brilliance of the three songs on this recording.
I suppose that this music might be very abrasive to some listeners' ears. But if you like intelligent, aggressive, interesting music, you want to own this ep. As far as the "math/prog/death/grindcore/whatever the hell," (I hate using these silly terms to describe great music) this recording is simply superior to anything else out there. It's too bad they didn't make a full length album. Maybe this little recording will inspire some people to make more music of this calliber
on April 7, 2004
I saw Dillinger Escape Plan open up for Mr. Bungle on Bungle's "California" tour. I must admit, I didn't get it. Not having heard the tunes before, it was just too much to take in. So I didn't really try. Later, I bought the record and was really amazed. But it still had the monotone screamer and it just turns me off. I have to block it out. Why not just put some white noise on a keyboard and press the same key over and over in a rhythmic fashion? But I remember thinking, "as far as this kind of music is concerned, this is really involved and intriguing. If only Mike Patton was their singer. They'd be like, the best band in the world."
Voila - Irony is a Dead Scene, some of the most inventive music I have heard in a long time. This stuff is the open-minded musician/music lover's wet dream. Chris Penny is one of the best drummers I have ever heard. And, even though they are complex beyond belief, the compositions are also balanced and unified. Gosh I wish these guys had stayed together and made at least one full length album. If you are a fan of Mike Patton, or just kick-ass REAL music, buy this record now!
on August 19, 2003
I have seen DEP live and I thought they were awful. Perhaps it was just one bad show, or perhaps I just don't get into their live show, but I certainly never thought I would buy one of there CDs...much less love it like I love Irony is a Dead Scene.
First off, I love Mike Patton, so that's where my true loyalty is...I just want to admit that upfront. Still, the entire band is excellent on this disk. It's short, but there's absolutely no fat on it. Every second is high-quality, well written, extremely intense art. At first I wasn't sure what to make of it, but given a chance it will most likely win you over.
The best song for me is the 3rd track. It's somewhat long and has a dramatic bit about 2/3 of the way through that I anticipate throughout the first part of the album. The lyrics are excellent and the band shows a mature control over the buildup and subsequent release of musical tension.
If you are on this page, considering this album, and reading this review you will probably love this CD too.
on August 2, 2003
What do you do when your vocalist leaves after your band releases a classic EP ("Under The Running Board") and full-length album ("Calculating Infinity") that merely revolutionize the way legions of fans look at heavy metal? Well, if you're the Dillinger Escape Plan, you apparently bring in one of the most versatile and accomplished frontmen of the last quarter-century to do a one-off EP. That, my friends, is the (concise) story behind the Dillinger Escape Plan and Mike Patton's "Irony Is A Dead Scene," which despite its short running time is easily one of the most brilliant heavy-music releases of our young millenium.
While Patton's and DEP's respective discographies vary wildly in both size and scope, on "Irony Is A Dead Scene" the guys sound as if they've been performing together for years. The schizophrenic, genre-bending weirdness that characterized Patton's most prominent bands, Faith No More and Mr. Bungle, is still present, but it's mixed with DEP's trademark insanity to produce a sound more like Faith No More or Bungle on steroids. With the demented virtuosos of DEP raging around him, Patton sounds even more unhinged than usual. He does deliver some piercing screams reminiscent of the band's former vocalist Dmitri, but he also adds frenetic vocal riffing, doomy singing and death-metalesque howls for one of the most eclectic performances in recent history.
The three DEP/Patton originals, "Hollywood Squares," "Pig Latin," and "When Good Dogs Do Bad Things," all vacillate between the raging jazzy metal abundant on "Calculating Infinity" and the surreally bizarre interludes one would expect from a Patton project. Fortunately, the album sounds less like a forced mishmash of styles than an inspired meeting of minds that refuse to be limited by genre conventions or preconceived notions. Patton and DEP, with their wild, genre-bending creativity, merge signature elements of their respective backgrounds to create a whole new kind of insanity.
The EP is capped off by a cover of Aphex Twin's "Come To Daddy," and while I haven't heard the original (although I have every intention of doing just that very soon), I CAN say with virtual certainty that DEP and Patton have succeeded in making it their own. This cover doesn't possess the sustained intensity offered by most DEP originals, but it's probably the most foreboding song in the band's all-too-small catalog; Patton's (apparently) electronically enhanced wail of "I want your SOUL!" should be enough to make just about anybody shudder.
"Irony Is A Dead Scene" may only clock in at about 20 minutes, but in that brief space it may well accomplish nothing less than a total realignment of your perceptions regarding just what heavy music (or any music for that matter) can and can't be. For the open-minded fan, this EP promises reams of enjoyment. So dig in, and hope for a new DEP full-length soon, regardless of who's on the mic. It's just too bad this EP appears to be the extent of the Patton-DEP collaboration.
on May 8, 2003
It's about [...] time Dillinger got rid of that thing on the microphone that almost totally ruined their music. 'Under the Running Board' and 'Calculating Infinity' would have been two of my most favorite albums of all time ... I remember playing DEP CD's in the hopes of interesting other people (in the hopes of blowing them away with some of the most amazing music ever)and cringing everytime they scowled at me when they heard the singing. For years, I thought to myself "If only they had a real singer, or better yet, were instrumental. . ... "
Enter the supreme Lord of talent and vocalising: Mike Patton. Now, Mike's been a personal God of mine for 1,000 years dating back to Mr. Bungle and THEN (yes, AFTER Mr Bungle was formed) Faith No More to Fantomas, Tomahawk and so on. I worship the man.
... I was floored ... I was SO excited, as I'm sure almost every fan of good music was. And it turned out to be exactly what I expected. A little shorter than I expected... I was very happy to hear that Dillinger didn't compromise for Mike nor he for them. It didn't become just another Mike Patton side project. Nor did it become Mike Patton trying to sing like the previous "singer". It became Dillinger with Mike Patton. Just as it should be. Just as <sniff> I always wanted it.
Although, now that I think of it, as much as I adore Mike Patton, instrumental Dillinger would be so [...]good, I'd have to ingest the CD. But, I guess then it's better that they have Mike. I KNEW IT!!!
on March 28, 2003
Dillinger Escape Plan is currently one of the most technical and experimental bands around, whereas Mike Patton is one of the best and most diverse vocalsists of all time. The mixing of the two should have been brilliant, but instead it was more or less luke warm. Following up an album like 'Calculating Infinity' was a hard enough task, but with Dimitri (vocals) gone, it now seems impossible. The technally insane riffing on this album is just as good as their previous attempts (though not even coming close to such songs as "Sugar.Coated.Sour", "Variations on a Cocktail Dress", or "Monticello") and the drumming is just as preficient and rapid fire as their ever was, there just seems to be something missing now. Mike Patton has done some excellent things in his musical career (ranging from both the legendary Faith No More to the incredable Fantomas), he just seems to be out of place here. He still does a good job, but not nearly as great as Dimitri. Lyrically it is the worst I have seem of both Patton and Dillinger Escape Plan; they are very simplistic and can be outright stupid. But I repeat, this is still a solid album. The cover of the Aphex Twin's "Come to Daddy" is fantastic! They turned a heavy triphop song into a brutal sounding metal track. Dillinger Escape Plan is an amazing band who has put out some amazing music, but they are just not the same without Dimitri on vocals. It seems that no one can take his place. If this was an insturmental record or if this was Dillinger Escape Plan's debut, it would have recived a higher rating; but as it stands, it is just another mediocre metalcore records with a well known vocalist. This really should have been better.
on December 28, 2002
Let me start by saying, I love The Dillinger Escape Plan. While their beginning music back from the Self-Titled doesn't particularly stir any hairs on my head, Under the Running Board and Calculating Infinity absolutely destroy me. Calculating Infinity is now my benchmark for insanity. I eagerly bought Irony Is a Dead Scene to see what Dillinger had in store for us...
I'll say, I wasn't dissapointed, but was more suprised. Their collaboration with Mike Patton is, well... weird. The thing is, I like it! It's really good stuff. I think Mike is a pretty wacky musician, and he offered a lot to Dillinger as far as song ideas. What you'll find on this CD is not completely typical Dillinger haywired insanity. The music is crazy, but in an odd sort of way. Weird sound effects, weird instruments, and VERY odd vocals.
If you're looking for a follow up to Calculating Infinity, this isn't really it... but it is an excellent CD none-the-less, and I recommend it. It shows a different side of Dillinger, but a side that you will still recognize them for. It's definately Dillinger: some of the guitar work will remind you of Calculating for sure. However, overall it's quite a different picture, and it is one worth seeing. Check it out.
on December 26, 2002
I've really wanted to like DEP for quite a while, with little success. They can obviously play, but (like Candiria) spent far too long making blatently unlistenable music. I've got nothing against metal, or against exceedingly technical metal - I'm a huge Meshuggah fan. I also listen to other music though, I'm not just after music that makes an increasing amount of noise with each record I buy. Many metal fans seem to forget that any other music exists.
Getting away from me and back to DEP, I basically found their previous releases to lack the "something" that gives loud music a hook. Meshuggah have these fantastic layered rhythms that suck you in, but DEP take the approach of changing timing and tempo every 10 seconds. Tool hide their complexity behind a very listenable melodic approach. Previously DEP had little melody, as their vocalist was completely one-dimensional and the guitars were focused largely on heaviness rather than depth.
Wonderfully, Mike Patton seems to have fixed much of this. He has a real talent for making the most unlikely things catchy - check out the "Chinga" section on Pig Latin, or the opening "Game Over! Game Over! You Win! Game Over! I Win!" salvo. It's a talent that has tided him over through some music that would otherwise have been totally unlistenable.
I'd say this sounds less like DEP with Mike Patton on vocals as it does DEP replacing Lombardo, Dunn and Osbourne in Fantomas. Which suits me just fine, as I'm a big Fantomas fan. If you're a massive fan of DEP you might find yourself a bit disappointed with the change in direction, but I for one think that Mike Patton has given some much needed shape to a band that previously I couldn't enjoy, no matter how much I tried.
(But the Aphex Twin cover is too accurate to be interesting for somebody who has the original, it has to be said. I would have been more interested to hear them do it backwards - a metal band doing a mellow version of a heavy song. Hell, this is more similar to the original "Pappy Mix" than the other versions on the Come To Daddy EP are! They could at least have done SOME reworking, it just sounds like a sloppier version of the original and it adds nothing)
on October 17, 2002
WOW. A collaboration made in heaven. Mike Patton, ex-Faith No More. And DEP. With one of the most talented math-metal bands EVER, and one of the most talented singers EVER, this should be one of the greatest math-metal records ever made. And even though I haven't really dipped much into that sub-genre, it is a close second in my book to Meshuggah's unbelievable 'Destroy Erase Improve'. This is the biggest head[rush] you could ever wish for, short of Napalm Death or Soilent Green, but combined with a sense of cohesion and melody, that only Patton could bring at times...you'll see why. Just listen to it. Listen to the whirlwind, and precise instrumentation. Often, like Meshuggah, all involved are playing in different time signatures. This makes for an incredible experience, no two ways about it. And with Patton's unmistakable weird yet hugely varied (and always successful) vocal styles bring the disc to levels of intensity rarely witnessed anywhere. Nearly a 9, but the at times brutal assault can make for difficult/unaccessible listening. Though Carcass fans should find this accessible and still awesome. If you ARE a Carcass fan, though, dig in. Hehe. And even dance fans can apply...with an awesome cover of Aphex Twin slapped on at the end, this raises the EP to 'essential status', at least for those in the know. Well worth any amount of money.
01. Hollywood Squares. Starting with a shriek from Patton - 'GAME OVER!!!....YOU WIN!!', this hate song to Hollywood soon rips into a bouncing and shredding tune, including constantly changing time signatures, and moods that bounce from moody to crunching at the flick of a switch, this opening track sets the scene in grand style, with the whole thing descending into freeform around 1:30 to startling effect. Then - shock - there's some singing, though it's under constant threat from the rippling drum line. A crescendo leads into a cry of 'Hollywood Squares, going nowhere!', with a semi-rapping part from Mike. The song leads out on an appropriate RAWK breakdown (drums: dododododoododooommmm......dodododoododomm!) Eeep.
02. Pig Latin. A more laid back offering, with opening synth and vocal lines which seems extraordinarily like Patton's old band. The crunch isn't as intense as the opener, with a mid-tempo 4/4 beat maintained for much of the song. A thrash-esque part leads into a haunting cry of 'Freedom, freedom'...another FNM moment. This leads back into a repeat of the beginning, and that seems to be the end of the most accessible song here.
03. When Good Dogs Do Bad Things. The other grindcore-esque tune here, clocking in at a near unbearable 6 minutes, with a fantastically weird grindcore moment with Patton meaninglessly babbling, that makes for compulsive listening, and gives a repeat performance that doesn't go amiss the sonic swash. Drifting off into an uncharacteristic ambience, and switching to a stealthy bounce for a while. Then a scream of 'run away!' leads into a tangible guitar melody, and repeat. Then the keyboards fade out.................................................strange noises........AND A CRUNCH and SCREAM of 'I'M THE BEST YOU'LL EVER HAVE!' The mixture of genre-defying song structure and paced 4/4 mid-tempo swaying produces the best song here.
04. Come To Daddy. Little to say. A dance song done rock style is a dangerous thing, but since Come To Daddy is clearly already among the most intense dance tunes ever penned, DEP feel primed to take it to the next level. It follows the original structure of the drum 'n' bass Aphex Twin classic to a T...even the remarkable coda, replete with off-kilter fusion drumming. And NME say 'this makes the original look like Charlotte Church'. That's debatable, as this song lacks a lot of the pounding bass of the original and freeform playing that DEP so excel in, but when the song's best parts come (the bridge, the numerous odd noise breakdowns, and final part), they do wipe the original completely clean. And Patton's attempt at the terrifying shriek heard in the aforementioned bridge puts 'Epic' to one side forever. And, as a piece of Interesting Trivia, because the band slightly speed things up, they add 15 seconds onto the end to make the track time (4:21) the same as the original. How Interesting! (sarcasm off). But, a remarkable ending.
The only downside? We shall most likely never hear these geniuses (is that the plural of genius? vote now!) make another studio effort again. But this is worth the #5 ($7) it's selling for........so expand your tastes and track this down.