By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By RFT Music
By Christian Schaeffer
By Gabriel San Roman
When the Dillinger Escape Plandropped 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.