When the Dillinger Escape Plan dropped its debut full-length Calculating Infinity in 1999, it was a shot heard round the metal world. Head-scratchingly puzzling with all its temporal zigs and zags, jaw-droppingly fierce with its musical might and spot-on precision, the record garnered scads of positive press and attracted legions of fans.
Yet for all its accolades, the album felt a bit soulless. Singer Dimitri Minakakis was notoriously monotone in his delivery, lacking the malleable voice necessary to keep up with such complex, genre-bending music. And while no one questions the band's dazzling technical ability, one can't help but question its motive. At the very least, Calculating Infinity is self-indulgent; at worst, narcissistic.
Fast forward to now, and we find the Dillingers still touring in support of their latest album, Miss Machine. A few things have changed. New vocalist Greg Puciato's repertoire includes straightforward hardcore attacks, Trent Reznor-styled whispery growls and Mike Patton-esque looneyness. His versatility is perfect for the group. But the biggest change is that the band has developed a greater interest in melody. That's not to say that the Dillingers have dumbed it down, sold out or even become more accessible: It's just that they paint with a little more color these days. The music is no longer a fucking head-game; now the madness feels sincere.
Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $13-$15; call 314-421-3853 for more information.