The Dillinger Escape Plan / Gay Paris
Max Watt’s, Sydney 29/08/2015
Review: Matt Doria | Photos: Peter Zaluzny
Having left us a year-and-a-half to recover from their unforgiving sets at Soundwave 2014, New Jersey experimental metallers The Dillinger Escape Plan found their way back to Oz for another round of stringent calamity, this time taking charge with their own east coast tour.
The sole openers for the night, it was up to local deviants Gay Paris to get the ball rolling with their jubilant demonic flair and euphoric reverence for the Dark Arts. Comparisons to Clutch and Kyuss are fitting, but the quartet have a sound entirely of their own; a barrage of sultry blues rock and grimy hardcore, Gay Paris are much more than just a bunch of hipster cunts trying to be metal. The rock’n’rollers are congregants to the Angel of Darkness, so it makes sense that vocalist Luke Monks would wax lyrical on equal love and appreciation, consent and empowerment in-between flooding our ears with his lucratively muddy growls. Back-up vocals were led by guitarist Lachlan Marks and bassist Dean Podmore, both of whom spent any time not perched behind their mics bouncing around like caffeinated marmosets. It was a sight to be seen, a sound to be heard, and a Satanic love-fest impossible to turn away from.
The Dillinger Escape Plan. We could probably just leave this review at that. We all know what to expect from a Dillinger show – thick and fast riffs, pounding drums, and vocals so intense they could make even the most Swedish of black metal bands shed a tear – and boy, did they deliver. Tearing into their headline set with One Of Us Is The Killer intro “Prancer”, their 75 minutes on stage was a merciless showering of pure sonic terror from Ben Weinman and his relentless crew of mathematically-charged misfits. Using his microphone as the weapon, vocalist Greg Puciato stormed the stage with maleficent intent, the crowd unaware of just what they were getting themselves into. Meanwhile, Weinman took ‘energised’ to another level, frequently climbing/jumping from the amp rig and using Billy Rymer’s kick drum for parkour.
Their sound was raw, gritty and brimming with impassioned fervour. Head-banging was not an option with their set constantly swerving through tempos and time signatures, but you don’t go to see The Dillinger Escape Plan to head-bang, you go to thrash around and get as absolutely fucking mental as possible. Dillinger powered through a setlist hitting all of their highest points – “Happiness Is A Smile”, “43% Burnt”, “Baby’s First Coffin” – no thoughts were spared for unplugged ears as the five-piece had walls shaking and skulls shattering, the grand affair coming to a grinding lock when Puciato threw himself into a wall of death for the jam “Sunshine Of Your Love / Sunshine The Werewolf”. A siren-esque wail pierced the room as the band prepared for a crushing encore of “Farewell, Mona Lisa” and “When I Lost My Bet”, but before we knew it, the lights were back on and the night had ended.
Black and blue with ankles stung, we shuffled out of the venue wishing only to turn back time and do it all over again. If one of them was the killer, all of us were their victims.