Having virtually created the mathcore genre with their revered debut full-length album Calculating Infinity, The Dillinger Escape Plan had to set about reinventing the wheel. A band not satisfied with continually repeating former glories, there is the stench of reinvention about Miss Machine. That’s not to say that Dillinger had morphed into a jazz-funk fusion, or indeed the more obvious route of sloping down the emo stadium filler route we all know that they’re capable of (and have strayed uncomfortably towards with Unretrofied, and several tracks on follow-up Ire Works).
After parting ways with their original singer Dimitri Minakakis and collaborated with (ex-Faith No More singer and musical alchemist) Mike Patton, among others, on the EP Irony is a Dead Scene, Dillinger finally recruited Greg Puciato after hearing an audition tape sent in response to an advert on the band’s website. Puciato brought with him a greater vocal range than Minakakis and a melodic pop sensibility which inflated the band’s chaotic, claustrophobic sound into a jazz-metal-punk-industrial chimera. The edgy industrial stylings and commercial smarts outraged the fanbase, as the band knew it would, but evolution is a fact of life in Dillinger’s universe – stagnation is the death of art.
Miss Machine’s opener, Panasonic Youth is like a sledgehammer to the face – an anarchic statement of intent that both celebrates Dillinger’s intricate staccato violence and ushering in a new dynamic and cinematic sound. There is no chorus here; the song barely repeats. Despite the fact that this is not in the slightest radio friendly this was the first single from the album.
Clearly a message to the old guard Puciato states with unarguable gusto “Evolution gave us a clock that’s always winding down” in full knowledge that they were winding it up once more; Dillinger is dead, long live Dillinger!