Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Dillinger Escape Plan with Mike Patton - Irony Is A Dead Scene (2002)

In late 2001, up-and-coming experimental mathcore band The Dillinger Escape Plan found themselves without a vocalist when founding member Dimitri Minakakis suddenly parted ways with the band because of their rigorous touring schedule. While they looked for a full-time replacement for Minakakis, the band recruited several of their friends to handle vocal duties on tour. Among these friends was the legendary Mike Patton, who they had met when Patton asked them to come on tour with Mr. Bungle. There must have been some sort of apparent chemistry between the group, because Patton later agreed to help produce and contribute to an upcoming EP. By the time Irony Is A Dead Scene had been recorded and released, the band had already been touring with newly-found vocalist Greg Puciato for over a year.

Patton's vocal style is actually very well complemented by the spastic style of The Dillinger Escape Plan's music, which is frequently on the verge of total chaos and destruction. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that there isn't structure and melody here, however. The first two tracks, Hollywood Squares and Pig Latin, are the obvious standouts of the EP and do a good job of showcasing some of Patton's unique vocal acrobatics. The only weak moment to be had here is the underwhelming cover of Aphex Twin's Come To Daddy, which they still manage to do a surprisingly good job of considering the circumstances. Irony Is A Dead Scene isn't an easy listen, but The Dillinger Escape Plan and Mike Patton manage to play off each other's strengths very well, despite the highly experimental nature of the artists involved. This ranks up there among some of my all time favorite EPs, and is a must listen for fans of DEP and Mike Patton, or just fans of experimental/hardcore music in general.

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