Dillinger Four - This Shit Is Genius (Cover Artwork)

Dillinger Four

This Shit Is Genius (1999)

No Idea

I'm starting with the last point first: This is Dillinger Four's weakest release by far, but is it still worth buying? Hell yeah.

This Shit Is Genius was released by No Idea Records in 1999 and is a collection of various songs recorded from 1994 to 1997 during the band's infant years. With D4's classic punk release Midwestern Songs of the Americas dropping just one year later in 1998, the most noticeable difference between the two albums is the discrepancy in how good the songs are. Midwestern contains some of the best tunes D4 ever put down on plastic, whereas This Shit Is Genius comes across as B-sides and filler that might have been mixed into Midwestern had it been a double album. It's not that the songs are bad. They are just indistinct and lacking in whatever made every other D4 album a must-own record.

But the popular Minneapolis punk rockers don't completely drop the ball with This Shit Is Genius. Their trademark Midwestern gruff is ever-present on each of the 14 tracks. The lyrics are above-average when compared to most punk bands going today, but they do fall short when compared to other D4 releases. With a running time a little over 30 minutes, this album kind of starts to drag about halfway through. By that point the two best songs, "Open and Shut" and "Sally Maclennane" (a Pogues cover), have come and gone, and a large chunk of the last seven songs are skippable.

I'm making this album sound worse than it is. It's not bad at all. In fact, it's well above mediocre. This is Dillinger Four we're talking about, so you know it's better than most of the other shit being pushed on us these days. But when compared to their later work, yeah, this shit isn't genius, but it is worth getting. Just make sure to get this D4 album last and only if you really want to complete the collection.