The Dillinger Escape Plan’s 2006 effort ‘Ire Works’ was a half-baked record that clumsily tried to combine unabashed pop melodies with the vein popping heaviness that made their name. The results were underwhelming.
On Option Paralysis, it seems as if the band were aware of the failures of its predecessor, crafting an album that blends together their disparate influences more seamlessly. The problem is that this album can’t help but feel like a retread. The chaotic, brutally heavy side of their sound is catered for effectively enough with ‘Good Neighbor’, ‘Crystal Morning’ and ‘Endless Endings’, but the nagging feeling is that they are merely rehashing Calculating Infinity tracks and giving them a new coat of paint. More problems arise when the band tries to enter melodic territory. Puciato’s clean vocals are downright cringe worthy at several points throughout this record, and with clearer enunciation comes closer scrutiny of his lyrics, which at times sound as if they were written by a high school student. ‘I Wouldn’t If You Didn’t’ would’ve been a whole lot better if they’d scrapped Puciato’s showboating near the end.
Standout track ‘Widower’ suffers from some of these flaws but still manages to succeed thanks to some beautiful piano melodies and a sense of drama throughout. Even so, the track feels overproduced, as if the band labored over it for too long in the studio. On the plus side, nothing on Option Paralysis sounds quite as obnoxious as Ire Works ‘Black Bubblegum’ which took the bands Mike Patton obsession to a new low. ‘Gold Teeth On A Bum’ manages a more effective marriage of ugliness and beauty, combining a lurching guitar riff and screamed vocals in the verses with a radio ready chorus, and opener ‘Goodbye Mona Lisa’ provides a pummeling introduction, albeit nothing we haven't heard before from these guys.
Option Paralysis finds The Dillinger Escape Plan in a strange place, and for perhaps the first time in the bands history they are spinning their wheels instead of moving forward. After the initial ‘new album sheen’ has worn off, there are very few great moments here, and the result is an album that falls short of expectations. They’re trying, no doubt about it, but it seems as if Dillinger hit their peak between 1999 and 2004 and in 2010 they are falling short of their potential.
Completely disagree with this take on the album. I mean yeah, I guess since they were spastic and heavy a decade ago too, they have kept a pretty similar sound throughout their career, but I think its stupid to say they're rehashing CI songs. These songs definitely stand out compared to older material, and I think it would make more sense to say they re-hashed Ire Works, except that they did it soooo much better this time, I can't complain at all.
Pretty good for a first review. I disagree that they are rehashing CI tracks though, those songs were a long time ago and sound very different than anything they're putting out today. Different vocalist, different bassist, different guitarist, different drummer - very little is still intact from the CI days, only Ben Weinman. Now, rehashing Miss Machine/Ire Works tracks, I'd agree to that, but the band changed a lot from CI to Miss Machine.
The vocals here aren't that bad, but I guess you're taking a middle-ground defense anyway.
Otherwise, I wholeheartedly agree with your review.
Uhhh, having different band members doesn't necessarily mean their sound would change. They did keep the same basic sound after CI, they just started adding more experimental sections to their usual agressive sounds.
Uhhh, having different band members doesn't necessarily mean their sound would change. They did keep the same basic sound after CI...
I agree, their sound has not changed drastically since CI; the obvious explanation is that Ben Weinman is The Dillinger Escape Plan. Great review, it reflects some of my feelings towards the album. Pos'd.
Good review, you expressed your points well enough, and it's hard to argue with most of them (although I like the clean vocals). I don't think this is necessarily a great progession for the band, but how many metalcore bands are able to reinvent themselves on every album? Poison the Well's really the only one I can think of that does that. Converge has released variations on the same theme for about 6 straight albums and no one seems to complain...and I love Converge too by the way.
If this was DEP's 7th or 8th full length then I would see that complaint as more legitimate, but really, this is only the second album in this vein that they've made (Miss Machine would be the other one). CI was much more straight-forward mathcore/metalcore and Ire Works was quite a bit more progressive.
Oh, and one more thing: is it really necessary to have 7 reviews of this album on the site after only about two weeks of being released? Not saying this is your fault, because your review actually presents a different opinion than most, but some of those others are just asonine.