Dillinger Four - C I V I L W A R
Fat Wreck Chords
After a much too long delay, the almighty D4 are back with their first LP in years. After delaying the recording and release of C I V I L W A R for what seems like an eternity, it's finally leaked to the internet, and has a release date set! I generally try to wait to review records until they're actually out, but I can't wait for this one. I'll be pre-ordering ASAP, and losing my mind in Florida for all of the new songs.
As it stands, I think this is the worst Dillinger Four record. However, that's saying very little, because a bad D4 record still slays 95% of bands putting out music right now. On the whole, it's evident from the outset that this is a slower, poppier record. Eric sings a majority of the record, with very few songs being led by Paddy or Billy. The first song, "A Jingle For the Product" sounds like vintage D4, with a slower edge, but catchy hooks, politically and socially conscious lyrics, and a nice pop punk feel.
The third song, parishiltonisametaphor, is the first to feature Paddy and Billy more prominently, and their gruff voices are a welcome sound. I can't wait to hear the banter surrounding this song live, as Paddy tells us "around here diva ain't much of a compliment". "Gainesville" is shaping up to be the hit, with a disgustingly catchy chorus about Fest, and a strong ending about staying young and the passing of time. Sing-a-longs for this song will be great.
"The Classical Arrangement" is the slowest and most "atmospheric" D4 has ever sounded, but a lot of people all over the internet seem to be in love with the line "The world turns to a desert while you pray for rain," and the ending of the song builds to a nice uptempo climax. "Fruity Pebbles" may be the poppiest song the boys have ever turned in, with Paddy making some striking similarities to Mark Hoppus. I shit you not.
Even though this album seems a bit slower, and pretty damn melodic, it's great to have another D4 record. It's really unfair to most other bands how damn good these guys. They have an unreal ability to combine the political, the social, and the personal into one song, and do it in a poppy yet punk rock way. All three vocalists have a unique sound, and while I'd like to hear more Paddy and Billy on this record, they do have enough of a presence to provide a contrast to Eric's voice. This is best shown in "Like Eye Contact in an Elevator," which (aside from the bridge) has arguably the most classic D4 sound, with fast tempos and vocal interplay between Paddy and Eric.
It's great to have a new record from one of the best bands in the game, and it's interesting to see them playing so many shows of late. Part of what made them so intriguing to people was their hermit-like approach to shows outside of Minneapolis, but lately they've been a bit more busy. So, go see them, pick up this record when it comes out, and see what most bands can't do. Best dudes.