One Of Us Is The Killer review by The Dillinger Escape Plan

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  • Released: May 14, 2013
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.1 (97 votes)
The Dillinger Escape Plan: One Of Us Is The Killer

Sound — 9
The Dillinger Escape Plan has captivated me since their 2007 release, "Ire Works," when I first discovered them. I came a little late to the party, as The Dillinger Escape Plan formed in 1997. Their first album, "Calculating Infinity," was released in 1999 now almost 15 years ago. During that time there has been some pretty serious lineup changes, and now today the only founding member remaining is Ben Weinman (lead guitarist). In their defense, Liam Wilson (bass guitar) and Greg Puciato (vocals) have both been with the band for over a decade. Billy Rymer is on drums and has been for the past 4 years or so. A more recent change, James Love is on rhythm guitar since 2012 (having previously worked with the band from 2004 through 2006. The lineup seems to be pretty tight on the album, as well as a few of the more recent live shows I found on YouTube. "One Of Us Is The Killer" is the 5th studio album released by The Dillinger Escape Plan. There are 11 tracks on the album and the runtime is approximately 40 minutes. They released the track "Prancer" as the first single from the album on March 12th. They released a music video for the track "When I Lost My Bet" on April 23rd.

The album opens with "Prancer," which immediately has Greg Puciato screeching out the opening lines and Ben Weinman going into his signature frenetic guitar-work. Liam Wilson and James Love provide strong support on bass and rhythm guitar, respectively. This is the sophomore release for Billy Rymer on drums with DEP and he is proving himself nicely. The next track "When I Lost My Bet" starts out with some serious aggression and reminds us why their genre has the word "core" in it. The track goes into a section of almost laid back creepy ambulance only to end with pummeling aggression. The third track, and also the title track, is the most "pop" song on the album (or as "pop" as DEP is going to get), with predominantly clean and almost falsetto vocals (I'm guessing these vocals are provided by Ben Weinman) and then Greg comes in with fairly clean vocals for the choruses. Of course, immediately after this short departure they go into "Hero Of The Soviet Union" which has some of my favorite drum parts from the album in it. The next track, "Nothing's Funny," once again has cleaner vocals but paired with a slower tempo and some truly interesting riffing. From there the album only gets more interesting.

Lyrics — 9
Greg Puciato has been with DEP since around 2001 when he got the job during open auditions after Dimitri Minakakis left the band. Since that time his voice has become as much a part of DEP's sound as Ben's crazy guitar work. Where Greg shines as he can really scream bloody murder and still be understandable and his voice seems to be invincible. The backup vocals, I'm assuming, are mostly provided by Ben Weinman but unfortunately I'm reviewing a digital copy of the album and don't have the benefit of liner notes. Either way, the backup vocals are strong throughout the entire album. There seems to be much more variety in the vocals than on previous releases. There is more frequency and creativity of the use of clean vocals than on their previous releases.

A lot of the lyrics off the album come across as what I would expect from Edgar Allen Poe's stream of consciousness in modern times. A good example are some of the lyrics from their first single, "Prancer": "How could it all be/ we've never been dead/ but never awake from this dream/ how could it all be/ we'll never be dead/ just mirrors running scared/ slicing wrists while we look for our own mortality/ all the lights went out cold/ shadow covers the soul/ essence of the world made ceremonial/ now we all wait for the demise/ what was the question/ why do you need an answer."

Overall Impression — 9
As a confession, while I've always liked DEP, they were always kind of a second string band in my mind because their songs seemed to run together. "One Of Us Is The Killer" transcends this and I'm not sure exactly why, but the songs don't begin to run together in the first listen, the second or even the tenth. There are enough shifts in mood in the songs to really let them each have their own character. There are passages of clean vocals, there are moments where the music lessens the intensity of the chaos for a moment and lets the songs breathe. Don't take this to mean there is less aggression and intensity in the music because this album maintains a high level of both throughout. My favorite tracks on the album are the title track, "Nothing's Funny" and "The Threat Posed By Nuclear Weapons," but I don't expect a lot of agreement on those songs being the best. Personal tastes and all that jazz. The bottom line is that "One Of Us Is The Killer" is a very solid release, and one of my favorites from DEP. It stacks up well against their back catalog and shows that they aren't sleeping on the job, but instead staying true to their "artistic vision" while continuing to stretch their legs a little bit.

40 comments sorted by best / new / date

    "The track goes into a section of almost laid back creepy ambulance only to end with pummeling aggression." Lol. Good review though dude, just watch that spell checker its a sneaky little devil!
    Correction, though. James Love didn't play on the album. Ben did all of the guitars. James is just their live rhythm guitarist. If any UG moderators read this, I have a lot of experience copy editing and would love to work for the site anyways, this album is awesome.
    where are you getting that he didn't play on the album? my understanding is he is credited on the album for rhythm guitar and he has played rhythm on at least one previous release - he is not just a touring guitarist.
    He's getting it from the album. I have a hard copy and he is not credited whatsoever.
    Ben has done all the guitars from Ire Works forward. The last time someone else was on there was Miss Machine, and that was Brian Benoit. Thanks for backing me up. And hey, you can't say UG couldn't use a good copy editor!
    Never been a fan of these guys until now. I've listened to the album quite a few times already, (received my preorder package Thursday) and I have not checked the lyrics for this yet but upon hearing this, the intensity level is amazing. I have not heard anything that amazing in awhile, and I gotta say these guys get favorite album to come out so far this year.
    Gerard Way Jr
    Whenever I see Avant-Garde in a new release, I think of Giles Corey Based on the review (kudos, Brandon) and your recommendation, I'm definitely checking this out.
    Check out the album, and go see them live. Don't concern yourself on how much the ticket is - easily the best show I've seen in my entire life.
    Surprised Sumerian Records didn't mess them up. If they became like Asking Alexandra, I would be forced to destroy every copy of the CD. But anyway, this I just may want to buy!
    The Spoon
    Ash is a smart guy with respect toward a lot of artists...even though Sumerian has its share of annoying bands, he does a really good job with letting artists be themselves.
    I am actually quite satisfied with Sumerian for signing these guys. They have quite an impressive roster aside from AA and I See Stars (clearly the cash cows on the label).
    I guess you're right. The Faceless and Animals as Leaders are on there and they rock! Oh, and Periphery, of course.
    Yeah man, a lot of technical progressive stuff. Born of Osiris, Veil of Maya, After the Burial, and Stray From the Path as well.
    Damn right. Sumerian is becoming a serious powerhouse. Never been a big fan of DEP but all of the new stuff that I've heard is nothing short of awesome.
    fun fact. sumerian actually didn't 'sign' dillinger. dillinger has their own label 'party smasher inc' so they have full control of the writing/creative process. sumerian is only distributing the album, because it is waaay cheaper for the band to do it that way instead of independently.
    Sumerian is a solid label. AA was pretty much how they were before they signed to Sumerian. The label never really messes with bands.
    Greg is a beast. How he can belt out all this shit and not have his throat explode is beyond me. "One Of Us Is The Killer" really shows his talent, but the whole band performs out of their skins for this album. Ben's guitar work in particular... faaaark. Love it. I didn't know how they were going to top Option Paralysis, which I thought was a brilliant production; but this album really is incredible. Only on my second spin of the record, but damn... in love with every song already. Can't wait to see them live for a third time!
    A great band revolving around a plot of a man who used a potato to get out of prison. Unbelievable.
    Can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this, I've been a huge fan since I saw them support SOAD on their Toxicity tour. Miss Machine is probably my favourite album, but these guys have never done anything that falls below great as far as I'm concerned.
    Absolutely killer album. I was almost let down on my first listen, but it grew on me insanely fast. It usually takes me quite a bit to differentiate a fair few of their songs on a new album, but by the third listen I had them all down lock. Their songwriting has certainly gotten stronger with this album.
    Every single thing Dillinger has ever came out with is gold. My all time favorite album would have to be Ire Works but goddamn...I've been listening to this album since the day it came out.
    It's ok. Better than most of their past stuff, but still just ok to me
    I really needed some time to let this band grow on me and I'm kind of disappointed I didn't listen to them earlier than I did, because this is an incredibly good album.
    Never got into these guys but that first link was really cool. The video was awesome too. Not so much of a fan of the second track.
    Man these guys never seem to disappoint, on my third listen and I don't see this ever getting old.