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These Are The 10 Best DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN Deep Cuts

Time to get weird.


One of the most unique, exciting and vital bands in the heavy music scene EVER, The Dillinger Escape Plan blew minds both on stage and on record across their entire two decade experience. The New Jersey group experienced much musical growth throughout the years, pushing out their hyper-manic mathcore sound to include larger melodies and genre-free experimentation.

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With six full lengths and a host of other EPs, splits and singles, The Dillinger Escape Plan left behind a huge back catalogue of material when they amicably parted in 2017. Everyone who has a clue about modern heavy music surely knows “Milk Lizard”, “Unretrofied” and the iconic “43% Burnt” – but what about the lesser known gems? Metal Injection feels it's high time to give light to the act’s Deep Cuts – and with selections from across Dillinger’s entire career, we know that even the biggest fan will have their knowledge tested…

“4th Grade Dropout”

The Dillinger Escape Plan’s huge debut Calculating Infinity didn’t exactly top charts when it came out, but it’s wild and unparalleled sound is fresher that almost anything else that dropped in ’99. The front part of the album gets most of the attention, with the back end oft overlooked – especially our choice “4th Grade Dropout”. The bezerk track was barely performed live and has minimal streams online – which is a damn shame. It’s beginning is peak high energy Dillinger with wild guitars and blastbeats, but the second half, with it’s tension building drums and distorted vocals shows clear signs of the band to come.

“Heat Deaf Melted Grill”

“Heat Deaf Melted Grill” – no idea what that means – is a bonus track from the deluxe editions of 2010’s Option Paralysis. The keyboard/synth-driven tune is both haunting and atmospheric, as well as a good showcase for the debuting Billy Rymer. Far from a verse/chorus piece, the slowly building electronic elements come to the forefront as “Heat Deaf Melted Grill” advances, eventually solely becoming beats and ghost-like vocals as it climaxes. A clear example of Dillinger looking outside of the box, the forgotten number is not world’s away from the work of Aphex Twin.

“Hollywood Squares”

Lifted from their awesome collaboration effort with Mike Patton, the Irony Is a Dead Scene EP is something of a stopgap between the group’s original vocalist Dimitri Minakakis and his eventual replacement Greg Puciato. The legendary Patton is in peak form throughout, especially on the underrated “Hollywood Squares”, pulling out almost every vocal style in his impossibly deep repertoire. A more punk style track, the band flexes their jazz muscles during the loose bridge, with Patton adding layers of unsettling harmonies underneath. A killer deep cut, and further proof that Irony Is A Dead Scene is a high point in both artists careers.

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“Horse Hunter”

The cat was out of the bag by the time Dillinger dropped Ire Works. The metal, punk and alternative press was well aware of the band’s powers by this stage, and their third full length counterbalanced some of their most deranged and catchiest output. A tune that highlights both beautifully is the deep-album track “Horse Hunter”. The last minute in particular – which features a fantastic guest spot from Mastodon’s Brent Hinds – is superb, and is surprisingly not regularly spoken about in regards to Ire Works best moments. That being said, the LP does pack some of Dillinger’s best known material, so it’s perhaps just been simply overshadowed.

“Manufacturing Discontent”

A wild and wooly selection from The Dillinger Escape Plan’s final album Dissociation, “Manufacturing Discontent” is a multi-movement journey of a track. Nearing the four and a half minute mark, the group covers a hell of a lot of musical territory, countless feels and passages move amongst each other. It was never played live, which is a shame, as despite it’s complexity, the main ‘chorus’ and chugging verses would sound great live. “Manufacturing Discontent” – like the entirety of Dissociation – proved that The Dillinger Escape Plan went out on the top.

“I Wouldn’t If You Didn’t”

We dive back into Dillinger’s 2010 Option Paralysis again for the forgotten “I Wouldn’t If You Didn’t”. Almost veterans by this point of their career, Option Paralysis proved that the band could still deliver their signature slabs of audio insanity, yet still work hard at creating genuine hooks and melodies. “I Wouldn’t If You Didn’t” is the perfect example, with it’s fantastic piano-led middle bookended by some of The Dillinger Escape Plan’s most feral moments. How this amazing song is the least streamed on the standard edition is beyond us. 

“Rebel Yell”

One of the few modern alternative acts that could have gotten away with releasing a covers album, The Dillinger Escape Plan done a few interesting tributes in their catalogue. Varying from artists like Black Flag to Justin Timberlake to Van Halen, the Dillinger Escape Plan boys were never afraid to tackle someone else’s work. One of their best efforts – despite sounding like it was recorded in their practise room with a potato – is their version of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell”. It’s business as usual for most of the tune, but it’s the building bridge section where Dillinger takes the song by the horns and makes it their own. Extra kudos for Puciato absolutely nailing the vocals.

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“The Perfect Design”

From Miss Machine, the group’s first record with Greg Puciato on lead vocals, the batshit crazy “The Perfect Design” is one of the most intense cuts from an already intense album. With The Dillinger Escape Plan’s second full length showing signs of musical growth, there is a lot of dynamic interplay and even moments of restraint. The highpoint of “The Perfect Machine” has got to be it’s massive ending, with the weighty guitars and drums crashing around Puciato’s larynx tearing screams for what feels like an eternity. 

“The Threat Posed by Nuclear Weapons”

The moody closer from 2013’s One of Us is the Killer, “The Threat Posed by Nuclear Weapons” is a real classic record finisher. There are some peak Dillinger Escape Plan tunes on the album, but – as is often the case – some of it’s best material lives at the forgotten back end. “The Threat…” packs plenty of classic Dillinger craziness to start off the piece, the bass driven middle passage is awesome, with the rest of the boys weaving in and out behind piano hits. Once again it’s the powerful climaxing outro that is the highlight, and wraps up a brilliant release perfectly.

“Wrath Upon Ourselves (Benjamin Weinman Remix)"

A little bit of sneaky inclusion, we thought it’d be worth including a remix piece masterminded by Dillinger’s Svengali Ben Weinman. His remix of As I Lay Dying’s “Wrath Upon Ourselves” turns to tune from a fairly fast thrash-metal inspired banger into a seizure inducing onslaught, with frantic beats smashing with cut-up bites of guitars, vocals and drums. It concludes with the introduction of the original’s clean vocals and dialling back to harsh elements. The song, which would wind up on As I Lay Dying’s Decas collection, shows Weinman’s ability to take someone else’s art and make it his own.

So how did we go? The Dillinger Escape Plan built an extremely loyal and dedicated fan base that is still strong five-plus years after their breakup, so we know that you have your own favourite Dillinger deep cuts – so what are they? Let us know in the comments!

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