THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN basically turned the entire Extreme Music world on its head with their 1999 album “Calculating Infinity”. It still remains one of the most influential albums in the last 20 years simply by being one of the most chaotic albums of all time. They were stuck in a damned if you do damned if you don’t situation, so instead of turning their career into one of oneupsmanship on the level of chaos and technicality, they instead opted to add change gears and add more Progressive elements and write things more...conventionally, for the lack of a better term. They decided to start exploring more styles to add to their sound and mixing in a lot of melody and accessibility to their chaotic riffing.
“Option Paralysis” shows the vast range that THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN has sonically and musically. Things go from blisteringly chaos with the music sound like a freight train about to go off the rails into a packed crowd full of screaming potential victims, to moments of sheer violence and hate to twisted and jarring sections that come at full force straight at you from all directions, to focused attacks on the psyche to Pop segments. The songs go through the extremely varied moods seamlessly, and the abrasive and jarring parts flow perfectly with the peaceful melodic interludes.
I have to say that the best performance on the album comes from vocalist Greg Puciato. He screams, shouts, growls, sings, croons, wails and just pours his every single emotion in his heart and shows how to use his voice as an instrument to accentuate and emphasize what the musicians are doing. He uses his voice with the same amount of talent and skill that his band mates use on their respective instruments, which is an astonishing feat in and of itself.
There are some bands that make good music, and then there are bands like THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN that take gigantic risks musically and drastically evolve from album to album yet still keep an extremely high standard for themselves.
(Online June 25, 2010)