Review Summary: An album as picturesque and fleeting as the fond half-memories of your drunken night before.
In Dillinger Four fashion, a tradition started by this debut album, the first song “O.K. F.M. D.O.A.” starts with an antiquated sounding recording of violins playing along some Leave it to Beaver or Andy Griffith Show mother***er providing instructions on how to set your speakers to a “perfect balance”. Everything seems peachy and in place as the man on the crackling gramophone sits you down and calmly prepares you for some auditory experience that is about to be had... and then hurdling in a mile a minute, in a drunken, loud stupor are Dillinger Four, busting through the crash doors and presenting to you, the listener, the deafening, high energy rawness of a live drunk-punk show.
On Midwestern Songs of the Americas
, Dillinger Four introduce themselves to the punk rock world with exhaustive speeds, unrefined productions and raucous vocals. Working as a two headed beast, the album provides a nice contrast between Patrick Costello's thick, gravelly and downright ugly pipes and Erik Funk's sleek and all-the-while cutting vocal delivery. Adding a dash of Bill Morrisette's backing vocals, this constant back-and-forth of vocal duties complements the already hasty pace of the album, giving even more reasons to keep the listener on their toes.
The biggest appeal of this album, however, is the band's ability to do so much in so little time. Every song reads like a manifesto, thought of and sputtered out in an average song duration of about two minutes. None of the time feels wasted, as shown in “Doublewhiskeycokenoice”, as the song chugs along at it's usual fast as hell speeds (despite actually being one of the slower songs on the album) just to be wrapped up in a perfectly conceived, brief anthem at the end, shouting: “So I'm reaching for the phone I don't want to be alone/ I want to get some friends here tonight/ I got a basement full of booze and some blues to lose/ I'll ignore the whole world tonight/ It will be alright”
This is done in just 2 minutes and 14 seconds, which includes the 14 second intro: a sample similar to the one at the beginning of the album, yet again another daintily painted picture that Dillinger Four tear through unabashedly to present their loud, drunken spectacle. Dillinger Four use the momentum of their songs to fall perfectly into these loud gang vocal anthems, cutting out any excess nonsense and never losing focus, while still saying so much. Brevity is truly the soul of their wit.
And just like that, what seems like an instant, Midwestern Songs of the America
is over. Shouted yet sincere, sloppy yet focused, the songs are as picturesque and fleeting as the fond half-memories of your drunken night before.