Rock ever lead to growing up? Such is the quandary that the aging
delinquents of Dillinger Four have been silently pondering. After
letting some fightin’ words free with 2002’s Situationist Comedy, the
group spent six years promising a fourth album until Civil War finally
made it out in October. If you’ve got loyal listeners desperate for
more material and you make prickly Pop Punk, the time-frame edges in on
Chinese Democracy territory.
just the track titles of their latest venture checks off a good chunk
of D4 prerequisites — a crummy pun (“The Art of Whore”), a seemingly
irreverent pop cultural nod (“Fruity Pebbles”), a ridiculously
conjoined phrase (“Americaspremierefaithbasedinitiative”) — but a dig
into War finds something a little more serious than expected.
Minneapolis-bred gang of four still slings dozens of hooks and has some
tongue-in-cheek moments, but the package feels kind of somber.
“Contemplate This on the Tree of Woe” rails against nameless criminals
“so careless in their calculations” and prophesizes about “a change
coming on.” “Minimum Wage is a Gateway Drug” boldly campaigns for the
poorly paid American. Hell, even with its silly name, “Clown Cars on
Cinder Blocks” is a mournful and ready-for-death dirge.
For as fiery
as Dillinger is now, nothing will ever top “Doublewhiskeycokenoice,” a
fire-starting prize penned back in 1998. In under two and a half
minutes, the chips-all-in sing-along invokes cult writer Nelson Algren,
soul savant Otis Redding and this proclamation: “Praise God and pass
the bottle of Beam/Because tonight I can’t seem to say what I
mean/Don’t know if I would, even if I could, Amen.” Basement anthems
have never been more sublime.
(Buy tickets, check out performance times and find nearby bars and restaurants here.)