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It’s been half a decade since THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN unleashed Calculating Infinity on the world, spawning countless imitators that tried desperately to capture that album’s intensity and creativity only to find themselves unable to succeed. Well the o.g.’s are back in town to show the amateurs how it’s done with their much-anticipated second album, Miss Machine. “Panasonic Youth” starts off the onslaught with the band’s trademark relentless drum patterns, chaotic riffing, and furious vocal assaults striking down any and all skeptics with full force. The barrage continues throughout the album with the band keeping things spastic and frenzied yet tight, methodical, and precise with each move seemingly calculated with pin-point accuracy. Five years have a way of maturing band, even one as busy, and over-the-top as THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN. And as their pals in CANDIRIA have also discovered, some melody and hooks are not necessarily a bad thing. “Highway Robbery” and “We Are the Storm” effectively display the band’s new approach by incorporating several straight forward moments as well as some excellent clean vocal work from Greg Puciato (now in his second year with the band) in the midst of DILLINGER’s brand of controlled chaos. But it’s the straight-rockin’ “Setting Fire to Sleeping Giants” and the catchy, funk-influenced “Unretrofied” that are the biggest departures for this unconventional band. Puciato sounds at times like a dead ringer for Mike Patton, but the songs succeed as both are extremely memorable and catchy which goes to show that even at their most basic and stripped-down, DILLINGER still has the goods over the countless sea of imitators out there. Miss Machine is a convincing comeback that shows why THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN continues to be one of the leaders in extreme music. (Relapse Records)