Opening with a barrage of thrash blast beats in the song “Farewell, Mona Lisa”, it was so much so fast that it took my brain (which never did finish school and was never good at Math) a few moments to comprehend just what the hell was going on. Kinda like when you see a ghost and you look twice to make sure you weren’t seeing, well, a ghost. Moving forward from their flat out screamed noise from the early days, “Option Paralysis”, definitely continues into a more refined and controlled chaos that radios may even play. But probably not. Hearing the likes of catchy hooks in tunes like “Gold Teeth On A Bum” and “I Wouldn’t If You Didn’t”; the former I think will more than likely be the single off the album, it appears to be the most commercial of the lot, the DEP know how to take what they have, run with it and make you dig it whether you’re a fan of this mess or not. I mean, apart from the abstract noise, it’s pretty darn catchy with some sing-along moments.
The harmonies don’t last though as thrashers like “Crystal Morning” and “Room Full Of Eyes” reinstate the listener’s “I have no fucking clue what is going on here but it’s pretty cool” cluelessness. Right from the get-go, the album doesn’t show any signs of ever slowing down as each track gets more and more crazy until the break is found on the slowed down “Endless Endings” which kicks off in true ballad style played on a piano (Bret Michaels eat your heart out and give me something to believe in). But even that ends quite quickly as the album picks up again to show that they haven’t sold out with soft drivel, they’re just experimenting. One would think it would be quite a task for a band that do nothing but experiment to actually ‘experiment’ but alas, they do it. Quite well, in fact. I will be interested to hear what the diehards think of the album’s finale, “Parasitic Twins”, a mellow psychedelic inspired mix of harmonies and chilled beats as the album draws to its close.
Adding all this slow, fast, stop, start, backwards, forwards, up, down, left, right, spin, rinse, dry, nonsense, it’s like DEP have taken the confused chaos that I once thought Fugazi had and have upped it a notch making Fugazi look like a band who play 4/4 drum beats and 12-bar blues chord progressions. An interesting barrage of sonic noise blended in such a way that even after these 10 songs of audible torment, I didn’t feel like becoming a serial killer or anything. I think only Pig Destroyer have that effect on people. The DEP is really good stuff and I think this is possibly their best work yet.
01 – Farewell, Mona Lisa
02 – Good Neighbor
03 – Gold Teeth On A Bum
04 – Crystal Morning
05 – Endless Endings
06 – Widower
07 – Room Full Of Eyes
08 – Chinese Whispers
09 – I Wouldn’t If You Didn’t
10 – Parasitic Twins
“Option Paralysis” is available 23rd of March, 2010 on Season of Mist Records / Riot! Entertainment.
Season of Mist Records website
The Dillinger Escape Plan on Myspace
Order “Option Paralysis” from Riot! Entertainment (within Australia)
Order “Option Paralysis” from Relapse Records (rest of the world)