It’s a shame that with bands like Dillinger Four, bands with incredibly loyal followings and back catalogs of classic, benchmark records, it’s almost “uncool” to say that the new album is your favorite one, that somehow in the last decade this band finally managed to outdo their classic debut LP. Well fuck that. Civil War is Dillinger Four’s best record. I’m saying it. I don’t care what nostalgia you attach to whichever earlier release, this one’s better. It just is. Why do so many people insist on stubbornly holding a certain record over a band’s head for their entire career? Do you want your favorite band to continue releasing inferior records for the remainder of their existence so you can go home and spin that same old, worn-out Midwestern Songs LP in some kind of smug satisfaction? Just admit it to yourself and everyone around you: this one is the best one. Oh, and you know what? I thought Situationist Comedy was the best one before Civil War was released. Yep, it’s true. I think this band gets better and better with age. Speaking of which, I had the immense pleasure of interviewing D4 about the new record, during which I asked a potentially troubling question concerning the band’s advancing age, their penchant for partying and resulting bodily wear-and-tear. Perhaps my whiskey-fuelled wording jumbled what I thought was a perfectly innocent question, but Lane clearly took offense, stating that I was comparing him to a visibly degenerating and undeniably ghoulish Mick Mars. This was certainly not the case and I offer my humblest apology. Luckily, Paddy diffused the brow-furrowing situation with another shot of whiskey (that I initially thought was a glass of whiskey) and a promise to kick the internet’s ass when he finds it, thus bringing up another important little nugget: the band’s openness and honesty when I broached the touchy subject of Civil War’s “leaking” and the ensuing “drama.” I don’t need to go into detail, but the most important thing I took from it, and the interview as a whole, was how comfortable and sincere the whole exchange was—which mirrors perfectly the way I feel about this record. It was immediately intimate and familiar, serious but lighthearted, going right for both your head and your gut. That’s just how Dillinger Four operates and it comes across plainly both in person and on their records. And, really, what more can you ask for from a punk band? These four dudes encapsulate everything one should hope to find in punk rock and I think everyone who recognizes that is truly thankful for what they’ve given us to this point.
–Dave William (Fat)