"Black Bubblegum" by Dillinger Escape Plan
When drummer-songwriter Chris Pennie defected to Coheed And Cambria earlier this year, Dillinger Escape Plan was left with a mess on its hands. Founding guitarist Ben Weinman and company painstakingly scraped together Ire Works, the group's first full-length since 2004's bar-raising Miss Machine. The ache paid off: While not as epic as Machine, Ire Works is a fractured, ambitious disc that lulls and thunders with equal force. After some typical—though wincingly raw—math-metal in the form of "Fix Your Face" and "Lurch," the album hits its biggest surprise, "Black Bubblegum." As the name implies, it's a dark pop opus crawling with Greg Puciato's sultry snarl and haunting falsetto. If there was ever any doubt about the impact Mike Patton had on Dillinger after appearing on its 2002 EP, Irony Is A Dead Scene, it's dispelled here—especially on the last three songs, a melodic tangle of jazzy hardcore, sardonic piano anthems, and glitch-punctured ambience. In spite of (or perhaps because of) the instability it was built on, Ire Works is a near-perfect pileup of craft and chaos—and it shows that Dillinger's recent injuries left some beautiful scars.