DILLINGER FOUR: Situationist Comedy: CD

I can’t fucking believe how good this album is. I know you read a zine like Razorcake and think, man, there’s so many good albums out there, so many good bands, but are there any essential albums? Any albums that I just have to have? The answer is yes. You have to have this album. Imagine walking through the snow on a wet, windy day and no amount of bundling up can keep the cold out. The cold just seems like it’s going right through you. Right into your bones. Now, imaging that cold is music, and it’s a good thing. That’s what listening to Situationist Comedy is like. I wasn’t sure how much I’d like it. Sure, I’m a huge D4 fan. I love their first full-length, Midwestern Songs of the Americas. I still listen to it a lot. When I first got it, I had to pace myself. I figured, if I listen to this album every time I want to listen to it, I’ll get sick of it. I’ll ruin the album for myself. So I controlled myself, and that album has always been close to a CD player of mine since it came out in 1998. D4 released This Shit Is Genius a year later. And that shit was genius. I had to pace myself again. But I also have to admit that, once I got used to hearing This Shit, I started reaching for Midwestern Songs more often. It was still my favorite. Then, D4 put out Versus God in 2000, and, if you ask me, they won. It was another amazing album. But, again, after I got used to hearing Versus God, Midwestern Songs took back the lead as my favorite D4 album. Shortly before Situationist Comedy came out, I listened to Midwestern Songs and wondered if D4 could possibly top that album. Now, I think they may have topped it. Situationist Comedy takes all the elements that make D4 a great band: the infusion of four musicians going nuts but keeping everything together, the ability to seamlessly and perpetually fuck with the tempo of a song, and the perfect balance of Eric’s poppy vocals, Billy’s gruff hardcore vocals, and Paddy’s is-he-really-singing-in-a-punk-band-like-that? Irish tenor. Beyond that, they seem to be growing up as a band. They play together so well. It’s like every note, every riff, every symbol crash is intricately woven to keep the song from unraveling. There’s a constant tension and release in every song. And above it all are some fucking awesome lyrics. After listening to the album about a dozen times, I got sick of trying to sing along with words I didn’t know, so I sat down with the lyric sheet and read along with the songs. I realized that these lyrics are gonna be quoted in nearly every fanzine in the US for the next two or three years. These guys keep tackling their common religious and political themes, but this album adds one more wrinkle – the songs about how the forty-hour-week, work-until-you-retire, identify-yourself-by-your-job mindset of our society is sucking out our soul. And it all comes together at the end in what is probably the most powerful D4 song yet, “New Punk Fashions for the Spring Formal,” driving forward to the last line, “Where’s the do or die? It’s staring you in the eye.” Then the album ends and I get to my only complaint about this CD: I don’t know what to do with myself when it’s over.

 –sean (Fat)