DILLINGER FOUR: Civil War: LP

This record is like an optical illusion, first seeing a vase, then looking at the same drawing and seeing two people facing each other. One time I hear pop punk compromised by slick production—guitar sounds that are big but soft, vocals with too much gloss. The next time I’m focused on the brilliant lyrics and the fact that Dillinger 4 has more heart than just about any other band on the circuit. Each listen volleys between these two extremes. There’s a lot to scrape off here and I’ve yet to hear the actual songs, the substance as opposed to the style, clearly. But I keep going back. I think the latter will win out, but it’s a qualified recommendation.

 –Mike Faloon (Fat)