Cover songs generally fall under two categories. Either they take the original song and morph it into something completely different, where the band harnesses the song as their own (in the case of Shai Halud’s
cover of [i]Linoleum[i] by NOFX
, or on an album like the NOFX/Rancid
split), generally providing for a fun and worthwhile listen, or they play the song note for note like the original band performed it, and provide nothing but a lame imitation which generally is regarded as tripe. Regardless, the thought of grind/math/metal/whatever-core legends The Dillinger Escape Plan
, covering songs like Like I Love You
by Justin Timberlake
is almost a laughable idea. Well, suffice it to say they did it and with that we have the Plagiarism EP
; A record chalk full of cheesy covers, as well as a revamped version of a previously recorded song, and an intense live performance. While this certainly is not the place to start if you are looking to get into a band like DEP, it’s a fun record for what it is.
is supposed to be an EP full of covers, it actually contains 2 original tracks. One is the radio edit of Unretrofied
, which sounds like a face-owning mash up of Sing the Sorrow
with The Downward Spiral
. Singer Greg Puciato truly shines on this song, showcasing his immense vocal range when he goes from an eerie pop melody to a scream during the breakdown. Instrumentally, for Dillinger, this is quite a departure, featuring straight forward 4/4 timing (something rarely seen in any song by this band) and surprisingly restrained instrumentals. It has much more of an industrial vibe than the majority of DEP’s discography, but by no means is it a bad song. In fact, even people who generally hate the band could be attracted to this song because of its solid songwriting and poppier tendencies.
Closing the album is a live version of The Perfect Design
. In stark contrast to the other original song on this album, it’s typical Dillinger. Chaotic guitars, weird time signatures, so-technical-that-they-are-almost-arrhythmic drum blasts and extremely emotive roars from Puciato are in full effect here. Guitarists Ben Weinman and Brian Benoit are the center of attention here, providing grinding riffs when necessary and interrupting everything with a jazzy improv just for the sake of art. Drummer Chris Pennie sounds like he’s hitting his drums with the force of a sperm whale crashing into the ocean, providing an impressive performance. Kerrang!, probably the biggest abomination to modern music, calls Dillinger “The Best Live Band on the Planet”, which just goes to show how impressive this band obviously is live, and that intensity is very apparent on this recording.
Now the covers, which happen to be the main focus of the album, taking up four of the 6 tracks. Unfortunately, in terms of originality, every cover completely lacks it, being merely a carbon copy of the song. Thankfully, in the case of the case of Wish
, a Nine Inch Nails
cover, and Jesus Christ Pose
, a Soundgarden
cover, both of the original songs are so great, that a spot on cover is really what you would expect to hear. Dillinger thankfully delivers that and it makes for a fun listening experience, even with the slight embellishments, such as the guttural growling and underlying improv guitar solos in Wish
or the heavily overdriven and detuned guitars squelches in Jesus Christ Pose
Absolutely the two most unusual covers in the history of music are also contained on this album, featuring a cover of both Angel
, by trip-hop pioneers Massive Attack
, and Like I Love You
, the impossibly out of place pop single by former N*Sync
member Justin Timberlake. Funnily enough, the Timberlake cover actually works merely on the fun factor. Listening to Puciato hit Timberlake’s tenor almost perfectly is honestly a riot, and while I’m sure many Dillinger Fans are now out getting the “Greg Puciato is a flaming homo” tattoos, it doesn’t detract from how fun the song is. Unfortunately, the Massive Attack
cover is decidedly less so. It sounds more like a botched version of the original, with not even the fun factor being able to save it. It’s uninteresting, boring, sleazy, and just begs the question of “why bother?”
All in all, for what its worth, Plagiarism
is a fun EP. Like I said previously, it would probably be one of the worst starting points for someone looking to get into a band like Dillinger Escape Plan
, for anyone who is already a fan, it would be an excellent addition to your collection. And for anyone who enjoys just cheesy covers, Like I Love You
is probably one of the best covers known to man. It’s so gloriously cheesy that anyone could really enjoy it. Although many long time fans of Dillinger Escape Plan
look at this EP as something negative, or merely filler, its really just meant to be a fun collection of songs with maybe two songs that fans would actually like to add to their collection, and it accomplishes exactly that.
Jesus Christ Pose
Like I Love You