The Dillinger Escape Plan – Ire Works


Album

Ire Works

Label

Relapse/Riot Records

Year

2007

For Fans Of

Nine Inch Nails, Mr Bungle, The Bled

Summary

Progressive? Yes. Consistent? No...

Rating

80 / 100

I’m a huge fan of The Dillinger
Escape Plan
. I didn’t care that their music has gradually changed
over the last couple of years… hell, I even enjoyed the larger incorporation
of melody into their abrasive sound but put simply, “Ire Works”
doesn’t live up to the hype that has been building around its release. 

That’s not to say that it’s a
bad record, far from it, but the album doesn’t pack the punch that I
was expecting. Whether the band (or more specifically, Ben Weinman)
want to admit it or not, the loss of Brian Benoit (guitar) and Chris
Pennie (drums) has really depleted their sound. 

As far as the more aggressive
elements of TDEP go, it’s almost as though the band have run
out of ideas. “Ire Works” heaviest moments are still great riffs
but you can’t escape the feeling that you’ve heard it before. “Miss
Machine” (the band’s previous full length) was a taste of what the
band could accomplish when they merged their signature sound with their
obvious love of Nine Inch Nails but “Ire Works” sounds like
a band who are still struggling to re-find their identity. I never thought
I’d hear myself saying this, but in 2007, The Dillinger Escape Plan
are better at writing catchy songs than they are at arranging their
standard metallic onslaught, and if they hope to stay relevant then
they need to shit or get off the pot.  

“Fix Your Face” is as heavy
as anything else the band has written in the last few years but as I
mentioned earlier, the riffs could have been taken from any Dillinger
track… although the song’s four to the floor chorus is fucking great!
The guitar work on “Lurch” is second to none and reminded exactly
why I liked this band in the first place. The break in the tempo and
sparse arrangements around the minute mark give the song a real hook! 

“Black Bubblegum” is easily
the standout track on “Ire Works”… except it sounds exactly like
Trent Reznor and co. The melodies and electronic flourishes are incredible
but it’s hardly the most original thing the band has put together.  

While the first three tracks on
this record have all been great it’s here that the album starts to lag
a little bit. “Sick On Sunday” and “When Acting As A Particle”
are brief electronic/instrumental interludes that have obviously been
included for a reason, but all they succeed in doing is losing an momentum
had been built up to this point. “Nong Eye Gong” is a brutal track
but at 1:16 it’s over just as you’re starting to get into it. 

The next couple of tracks seem
to blur into each other. They both follow the standard Dillinger
format of off kilter drums and jumpy guitar work but neither of them
succeeds in standing out. “Milk Lizard” picks the album up again
with it’s sleazy sounding guitar lines and driving rock beats and is
probably the most original sounding track on the record. Not since Mr Bungle have horns sounded this good with a metal band! 

“Dead As History” takes a
while to get things moving but ends up being a really interesting track…
one which needs repeat listens to really enjoy everything that’s going
on. “Horse Hunter” is another short, sharp blast of metallic riffing
that does little to further Dillinger’s cause but “Mouth Of
Ghosts” was a surprising way to end the record. Although some of the
melodies that Greg use could be lifted from any current American rock
band he and the rest of the group somehow make it work. 

Conclusion

The Dillinger Escape Plan
are in an interesting position. Their current line up seem to excel
at writing catchy rock songs, but they insist on throwing in bursts
of metal for old time’s sake. Rather than desperately clinging to their
older fan base. TDEP should be confident in their abilities as
song writers and move forward in the direction that we all now they’re
capable of. 

Tracklisting

  1. Fix Your Face
  2. Lurch
  3. Black Bubblegum
  4. Sick On Sunday
  5. When Acting As A Particle
  6. None Eye Gong
  7. When Acting As A Wave
  8. 82588
  9. Milk Lizard

4 Responses to “The Dillinger Escape Plan – Ire Works”

  1. Around The Fur

    i agree with some of the points you made in this review but i think the album actually flows really well. some of the guitar riffs do leave a little to be desired but overall i really enjoy this album. It deserves at least 90 IMO.

  2. KYS-Cam

    the more i listen to it the more it’s growing on me but i’m still not finding it as consistent as previous releases. cheers for the feedback though

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