Sound — 9
On Ire Works, Dillinger Escape Plan works their Math-Core magic despite the loss of legendary drummer Chris Pennie. This album is a solid offering from a band that continues to reach out of the underground scene that they have resided in for so long. The first thing that I noticed when I listened to this album is the prominent guitar work of duo Ben Weinman and Jeff Tuttle. The guitar is at the same level of technicality of past albums, but has taken a more central role in the music. The guitar tone is heavier and has greater presence than on past Dillinger albums, which adds to the prominence.
Lyrics — 10
Greg Puciato has filled the shoes of lead vocalist well since Dimitri Minikakas left the band in 2001. His ability branches out on this album, with more singing vocals that are usually heard in Dillinger songs. With catchy songs like Milk Lizard and Black Bubblegum that have killer vocal hooks, Greg has added his own style of songwriting to the foundation that Dimitri laid so long ago. As far as skills go, not many vocalists could coherently follow along with the rapidly changing time signatures that the ingenious instrumentalists write, but Greg does the job exceptionally well.
Overall Impression — 9
Dillinger Escape Plan has made one giant step forward with Ire Works. It is easier to listen to than past albums, but retains the Math-Core feel that makes the band remarkable. If I had to choose my favorite songs from the album, I would pick the single-worthy Black Bubblegum, for it's sheer pop sensibility, and 82588, for it's traditional Dillinger sound. I would buy this album several times over, as it is one of my most listened-to albums. Other bands have tried and failed to copy Dillinger, but even with only one original member, these hardcore giants continue to make music that lives up to the first albums. I'm curious to hear what their new drummer, Gil Sharone, comes up with on the next album, when he has to write his own parts instead of using Chris Pennie's sheet music.