The Dillinger Escape Plan demonstrated humble yet promising beginnings on their self-titled debut extended-play. Originally released in 1997 and reissued by Earache Records in 2002 (doubling the original track count from three to six), this release is in the vein of early nineties metalcore alongside that produced by Converge, Cave In, and Hatebreed – albeit with a jazzy, eclectic compositional focus that would become the cornerstone of the mathcore subgenre of extreme music.
Whereas their future releases would play up the “metal” side of metalcore, The Dillinger Escape Plan’s debut is heavily informed by hardcore punk – as demonstrated by original vocalist Dmitri Minikakis’ utilization of yells more often than screams. There are spoken word sections reminiscent of Nations of Ulysses (and, later, Refused); lyrics have much in common with the emotional hardcore of Rites of Spring and Fire Party.1 It’s lovey-dovey2 and interpersonal, and actually not too far from the lyrics of later albums such as Ire Works and One of Us Is the Killer. The instrumental change-ups and tempo shifts are unrefined, but not by any means unenjoyable.
This is a nice little release that’s simple in comparison to the spastic eclecticism for which The Dillinger Escape Plan and their mathcore peers would become famous, but that does not mean that it won’t fit well into any old school metalcore playlist.
1. Proceed with Caution – (1:02) – ★★★☆☆
2. I Love Secret Agents – (2:10) – ★★★★☆
3. Monticello – (3:04) – ★★☆☆☆
4. Cleopatra’s Sling [2002 Bonus Track] – (3:12) – ★★★☆☆
5. Caffeine [2002 Bonus Track] – (2:49) – ★★★☆☆
6. Three for Flinching (Revenge of the Porno Clowns)3 [2002 Bonus Track] – (3:01) – ★★★☆☆
1“I’d rather burn you than love you.” Damn son, who fucked you over?
2Y’know, in an angry punk rock kind of way.