Dillinger Four with the Arrivals

Sunday, March 16; Hi-Pointe

As a lover of funny, insightful lyrics and powerful melodies -- as a person of discernment and taste -- you have no choice but to love Dillinger Four. The Minnesota punk quartet's first visits to town found them playing basement shows to a few dozen diehard teenagers, but no stone foundation could contain their brilliance for long. Brainier types quickly caught on to the band's relentless sense of humor and incisive political musings; songs such as "All Rise for the Rational Anthem," "Get Your Studyhall Outta My Recess" and "Music Is None of My Business" are the ultimate breath of fresh air for those accustomed to the sterile posturing of so many lesser punk minds. But no band can survive on verbal acuity alone, and D4 backs up the talk with plenty of walk. Don't even try to resist the unstoppable hooks, the emotional complexity, the sheer hyperspeed rush of joy and bitterness ... turns out that "punk songwriting" isn't an oxymoron after all!

If you're expecting the nudity and flying bodily fluids of previous D4 shows, you might be disappointed this time. Yes, bass player St. Patrick once entertained a Creepy Crawl audience by doing a headstand in the club's full toilet. And yes, his "Fruit Cocktail" routine was a favorite of audiences nationwide. But Dillinger Four seem to have tired of life as a sideshow act, and their songs pack enough thrills to make even the slackest-jawed yokel forget all about St. Patrick's naked escapades.

Dillinger Four unites bookworms and burnouts and everybody in between in a shared devotion to great, great music. In the fragmented punk scene, where subgenres and minimovements draw ever-finer lines in the sand, we need more bands like this one.

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