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Dillinger Four: Civil War


Dillinger Four

Album: Civil War
Label: Fat Wreck Chords

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Following the release of 2000's fantastic Versus God, Dillinger Four took its place as one of the most exciting bands in punk. Underneath the balls-out rock, blistering tempos, and smart-alecky lyrics lurked a surprisingly strong pop acumen, creating an engrossing mix of power and melody. 2002's Situationist Comedy repeated the format, albeit less effectively, and following its touring cycle, D4 quietly disappeared. Performances became sporadic, and the buzz died down as vague promises of a new album failed to deliver.

Six years later, Dillinger Four has finally returned with Civil War, and the band apparently didn't spend the time off tinkering with its sound. The album is mostly interchangeable with its predecessors, right down to the silly samples that bookend the songs. There are some differences. Erik Funk's vocals aren't so buried in the mix, and the group's pop tendencies seem more prominent; the midtempo "Fruity Pebbles" may be D4's most accessible song yet. Civil War has its share of solid moments—"Contemplate This On The Tree Of Woe" and "AMERICASPREMIEREFAITHBASEDINITIATIVE" are particularly strong—but after six long years, it would've been nice for Dillinger Four to deliver something beyond more of the same.