When you think about it, it's hardly a
surprise that DEP don't sound the same anymore. There's hardly anyone
left from the lineup that unleashed Calculating Infinity on the
unsuspecting world. With the recent departure of berserk skinsman
Chris Pennie, the new guy Gil Sharone had some Bozo the clown type
shoes to fill, and he does that fine enough.
But if you've noticed, the band have
sort of shifted away from orchestrating an atmosphere of audio
dementia, separated from pure chaos by only the flimsiest of rules.
Recently, they've been sidetracked by (among other things) doing
almost faithful covers of songs by artists including Justin
Timberlake. Them dogs be crazy! Or so they want us to think? The game
Sure, on the new record, they've got
the typical cacophony going on here and there, but the trend seems to
be that which each album, they're getting more accessible to the
general public ear. Miss Machine had the radio-ready Unretrofied (and
if you push it, Phone Home and Setting Fire to Sleeping Giant would
have passed muster too), and here we've got Black Bubblegum, Milk
Lizard, Dead as History and Mouth of Ghosts. Straight-up songs!
Verse, chorus, the whole shebang. I'm not complaining, it's some
pretty funky shit. Only...if Greg Puciato's going to be singing as
much as screaming, he should be getting a little more versatile with
the vocal cords. The lung power's all there, but he sounds a bit flat
now and then.
The direction they're headed is cool
enough – I can see them eventually becoming all weird pop like
Faith No More. Then again, every avante-garde outfit nowadays wants
to be Faith No More or another one of Mike Patton's projects. Yes, so do I. And I'm not even avante-garde.
Anyway, doubtful that they'll ever top Irony is a Dead Scene in my
books, but by all means - keep trying, people. Hint: Ask Patton to guest again.
Year of release: 2007