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Stand-alone surprise Dillinger single is deeply satisfying

The Dillinger Escape Plan Happiness Is A Sm

As has been well documented, The Dillinger Escape Plan aren’t afraid of bucking convention when the mood takes them.

After last year’s truly excellent One Of Us Is The Killer had bedded in, Dillinger fans the world over probably expected to have to wait a couple of years for the touring cycle to end and the writing process to begin before hearing any more new material from the pioneering quintet – but it turns out we haven’t had to wait that long. Sure, we only get one track, but it is a hell of a track. Here it is:

Smashing. Its a lurching, snarling, Tomahawk-on-steroids affair that sounds like a close relative of “Crossburner” from OOUITK. Maybe its a little less ‘math’ than some would like, but any long standing fan will know that judging Dillinger’s direction from a single track is a fool’s errand. On the subject of it, the band said:

“So we wrote a song. Rather than wait for a new album, and try to figure out how to make it make sense as part of a group of other songs that would be written later, we recorded it instantly, so it could be captured as it’s own statement.”

The chances of owning a physical copy of “Happiness Is A Smile” are limited, however. Just 500 7″ singles have been pressed and they are only being sold at dates of their current US jaunt with Retox. Expect the resale market to be vibrant.

The band have also announced that they are, and have been, filming every date on this tour. The only reasonable assumption here is that the footage will see the light of day in the form of a live DVD, which would be a pretty joyous thing and a great way to document some of the most intense performances I’ve ever witnessed. It’s also worth pointing out that the band’s last flirtation with the DVD format – released in between Miss Machine and Ire Works – was scrappy, ill-conceived and unsatisfying. Even for a superfan like myself, it was the lowest quality product they’ve put their name to. We can assume, though, that lessons have been learned.

Of course, the only real issue for fans watching a Dillinger live DVD will be figuring out how to properly recreate the incendiary atmosphere of a Dillinger show in their living rooms without actually setting fire to the sofa.