Sound — 7
The Dillinger Escape Plan are a very special band indeed. Progression is a big thing for the manic math-metallers, seeing as they covered the gap between insanely technical, electronic grindcore and open minded generic oddballism in just five years. "Ire Works" more or less picks up where 2004's "Miss Machine" left off. You have your heavy as hell face melters such as "Fix Your Face", "Lurch" and "Nong Eye Gong", atmospheric tracks such as "Mouth of Ghosts", and "When Acting as a Partical", and then your interestic numbers such as "Sick on Sunday" and "When Acting as a Wave" which remind you how good the band are at counting past four. The track that really surprised me was the third song "Black Bubblegum". The vocals here daringly sound like pop rock style melodies, with Greg Puciato's meaty vocals sound like something you'd hear on the morning chart shows on E4. The song itself is sort of like an even lighter "Unretrofied", from "Miss Machine". I favoured this song, nonetheless.
Lyrics — 9
Seeing as you have to have to break into the CD case itself to get the lyrics sheet, and Greg's yelling is nigh on indecipherable, I wouldn't expect the band to expect much credit for the lyrics themselves. Nevertheless, the lyrics are pure poetry, "Lurch" containing my favourite lines: "I don't know your name from my window/Do you lust for fame or forgiveness?/Well I'll give you everything you want", describing himself as a pervert, or a secret admirer of somebody, and are sung with angst, and torture. However chaotic the music may seem, the vocals are definitely in time with the instruments. Greg switches between hell-hot, flesh tearing screams to his sweety, innocent, yet tormented clean vocals, which demonstrate his inner pain, painting pictures of a tortured, twisted young soul. Ironically, Dimitri Minakakis, the band's old vocalist performs backing vocals on this album, more specifically opener "Fix Your Face". Mastodon's Brent Hinds also performs backing vocals on the pen-ultimate track "Horse Hunter."
Overall Impression — 8
When I ripped the songs onto my iTunes, I was disappointed to see many songs last under two minutes. But after listening, I realised that these were usually the instrumental and heavier tracks, and was thankful that they last as long as they do, otherwise my head would have imploded due to the constant barrage of insane velocity protruded by Ben Weinman's own two hands. Yes, he really is that fast. My favorites are probably "Black Bubblegum", "Milk Lizard", "Party Smasher", "Fix Your Face", and "When Acting as a Wave". The only two songs I have no time for are the fourth track "Sick on Sunday" and closer "Mouth of Ghosts", for the simple reason they lack feeling and momentum. Sure I would enjoy them if I was in a morose, sombre mood, but they come rarely to me so meh. I love the way the album is packaged, with a strange booklet showing mysterious block shapes in place of a lyrics booklet, and the lyrics sheet is oddly placed behind the CD. Also I was surprised how easy to comprehend the whole album is, through reading magazine reviews I was expecting to need to listen to each song about 10 times to figure out what was going on. But no, I could understand it, and after having the album just two days I know what happens and when and where. Not everything, but enough. That may be just me, but still, don't expect too much complexity from this album.