"Setting Fire to Sleeping Giants"
Released: July, 2004
Miss Machine is the second album by American mathcore band The Dillinger Escape Plan released in July 2004 through Relapse Records. It is the first release by the band to feature vocalist Greg Puciato. Miss Machine marks a change to a more experimental style by the band; it is less aggressive than their previous album Calculating Infinity.
The album is The Dillinger Escape Plan's first album since 1999, the gap between albums being accredited to a number of bad fortunes, and a short EP release with lead vocals being performed by Mike Patton. There were three music videos made for the album ("Panasonic Youth", "Unretrofied", and "Setting Fire to Sleeping Giants") directed by Neurosis' Josh Graham. The band decided to feature metalcore producer Steve Evetts to produce the album.
Until the band's 2007 release of the further groundbreaking Ire Works, Miss Machine was considerably the band's most experimental release to date, as the band drew from the experience of working with Mike Patton and the industrial influence of bands such as Nine Inch Nails. It is also arguably their most accessible due to the band toning down the musical complexity and adding new elements like slower song tempos, singing vocals, and more straightforward song structures.
Due to Mike Patton collaborating with the band, his experimental influences began to rub off on The Dillinger Escape Plan. In addition, Greg Puciato was involved with Error, an industrial band, around the same time as the release of Miss Machine, all of which would form their sound on Miss Machine. The album turned out to be much more experimental, and include many more jazz-fusion elements and electronics. Weinman's guitars were not as prominent in the mix, and Pennie's drumming was not as demanding. Their newer, experimental sound was a hit with critics, as they garnered much attention due to the shift in sound; however, the band's change lead to split views amongst fans: some embraced their new sound while others detested it.[dubious– discuss]
The critical reception for Miss Machine was relatively favorable, with Allmusic going so far as to say, "There's nothing more to say — the next true image of rock & roll has crawled out of the swamps of Jersey." Despite being positive in their review, Pitchfork noticed "Though Miss Machine displays DEP in top musical form, the band seems to have lost its confidence and direction." Rolling Stone, however, was negative, noticing "unless you're trying to drive a third world dictator out of his barricaded palace, you'll be hard pressed to listen to Miss Machine in its entirety." Miss Machine has earned a metascore of 80 on review aggregate site Metacritic/link indicating favorable reviews.