Dillinger Escape Plan - Under the Running Board (Cover Artwork)

Dillinger Escape Plan

Under the Running Board (1998)


Over the past ten years, the Dillinger Escape Plan has become an institution in heavy music. The name evokes spastic hypertechnicality, genre-bending creativity and fire-breathing insanity. Under the Running Board is their offering to extreme music mega-label Relapse, and it manages to capture every element of the band, except maybe the fire-breathing.

Dillinger's sound on the EP is not very different from what they went on to do in Calculating Infinity. The three short tracks on the album (if you can snag the re-release, there's a ton of live material on it) clock in at less than seven minutes, but it is an exhiliarating thrill of a rollercoaster ride. Dillinger's ability to take draw from technical metal bands like Atheist and Cynic as well as they could from bands like Coalesce, Deadguy and Converge makes for music that manages to flip lids and impress even the most onanistic music theory junkie while retaining a consistent level of emotional intensity.

Vocals are shouted, spoken, even sung throughout the album. Riffs range from angular ragers to tasteful jazzy interludes and bizarre samples are peppered throughout the songs. Lyrics manage to convey a poetic sense of disgust and dismay. It's the real deal, folks. The only flaw is the sheer brevity of the album: An original copy clocks in before you've even gotten your fix, and the reissue, despite having a ton of live tracks (plus a Sabbath cover) still falls short.

Overall, I would recommend this to anyone who likes Dillinger Escape Plan, especially those who are dissatisfied with their recent direction. It's actually a pretty good place to start if you want to dip your toes in the Dillinger. Under the Running Board has all the essential components of the Dillinger Escape Plan meal, but in a bite-size form. It's worth a nibble.