Okay, so last week I bought One of Us is the Killer by The Dillinger Escape Plan. The album, which only came out this year, was going for a meagre £1.50 in my local Scope, so I thought I might as well grab myself a bargain. I knew nothing about the artist, admittedly, but a quick Google search on my friend's phone revealed TDEP to be a "mathcore band"...which, y'know, sounded like fun.
In retrospect, I may not have paid enough attention to the 'core' part of that genre's name. I thought mathcore would be like math rock only, y'know, more so. Faster and louder, perhaps.
But mathcore, as it transpires, is basically hardcore with less focus. 'Spasmodic' was the first word that reached my brain when Prancer splattered out of my speaker. It's rather exciting in its way, but crikey Moses it's all over the place. Here, listen for yourself:
The problem here is that I don't really dislike this music. If the whole album was just a big, jerky mess then I could write it off without a second thought, but there are good bits, bits that are relevant to my interests, if you will. When I Lost My Bet opens with some pretty sweet drumming, and while the terrain gets somewhat rockier from there, I do like the cool widdly guitar bits.
And hey, some of the choruses are pretty rad. The title track is strangely calm to begin with (boy was that a refreshing change of pace), and this eventually gives way to a cool chrous about how one of us must die and how the killer won't survive. I'm not entirely sure it makes sense, but hey, it sounds good.
But see, I've only touched on the first three tracks here. I'm yet to get all the way through this album, and I really can't imagine what kind of mood I'd have to be in to do it all in one sitting.
So here's my appeal to Dillinger fans, and mathcore fans in general: please get in touch, and tell me I need to stick with this album. Please appreciate that this heavy stuff is some way off my beaten path - I've always kept a little bit of metal close at hand, but never very much and never anything quite like this. I'd really like to see some arguments for One of Us is the Killer, so if you've got one to make, leave a comment or tweet me.
As a barely related side note, what the hell is up with Wikipedia's list of math rock bands? It's the only place where you'll find Bloc Party, Dirty Three, Fang Island and The Mars Volta under the same umbrella, I'd wager.