Option Paralysis

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See also: Analysis paralysis the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken

Option Paralysis
Studio album by The Dillinger Escape Plan
Released March 22, 2010
Recorded September 8 − November 12, 2009
Genre Mathcore, experimental metal
Length 41:28
Label Party Smasher, Season of Mist
Producer Benjamin Weinman, Steve Evetts
The Dillinger Escape Plan chronology
Ire Works
(2007)
Option Paralysis
(2010)
One of Us Is the Killer
(2013)
Alternative covers
Cover for the vinyl version of Option Paralysis.
Cover for the digipak version of Option Paralysis.

Option Paralysis is the fourth full-length studio album by American mathcore band The Dillinger Escape Plan, released on March 23, 2010. After having fulfilled their contract with Relapse Records, the band released the album through Party Smasher Inc., their own new imprint in collaboration with French record label Season of Mist.[1] It marks The Dillinger Escape Plan's first release to feature Billy Rymer on drums, since Gil Sharone left the band in September 2008 due to the frequent touring schedule and to focus on his brother's band Stolen Babies.[2][3]

Background[edit]

Formation of Party Smasher Inc.[edit]

The Dillinger Escape Plan announced their departure from Relapse Records in 2009. They had become dissatisfied with the music industry and music media, and decided to create their own record label to release their fourth studio album. Commenting on the dissolving "indie band culture", guitarist Ben Weinman stated, "back in the day there were record labels that you trusted, loved and you bought everything on it and you discovered a lot of great new music because of it. You listen to every single song back to front a million times, it'd be worn out to death before you moved onto another record. You'd read everything in the booklet, you'd read all the lyrics, you'd read all the notes, you'd discover something new."[4] Speaking to Kerrang! about the decision, he said: "The most important thing was to keep evolving and changing. We didn't want to be stuck in some long contract that won't be relevant in a few years time... Or possibly even tomorrow. So half out of necessity, half out of choice, we decided to do this ourselves. The hard part is figuring out whether you're sacrificing your creative side because you're so busy with the business. That's the challenge and we're figuring it out".[5]

The band created their own imprint Party Smasher Inc. under French label Season of Mist. They stated that Party Smasher (which was originally erroneously reported to be called Photogenic Records[6][7]) is not technically a record label but a "creative umbrella" for all things related to The Dillinger Escape Plan. In an interview with Alternative Press, Weinman stated, "Well, I should clarify that it's not exactly our attempt to run a record label. That's not something we could be good at, and it's obviously not something anybody's good at these days. [Laughs] It's more a situation where we now have a name for this umbrella that covers every business and artistic decision we make–whether it's Dillinger, side projects or whatever."[8]

Recording[edit]

In a blog on the band's MySpace profile, vocalist Greg Puciato revealed that they would be entering the studio from September 7 - October 30, 2009 to record the album with longtime collaborator Steve Evetts.[9] Recording was finished on November 12, 2009.[10] The album is their longest one yet at over 41 minutes, and is described by Ben Weinman as "our most metal record yet."[11]

Concept[edit]

According to Kerrang!, the album "was not an album that just happened. Rather it was one that was written to address an issue the band feel keenly". In April 2010 Ben Weinman told Kerrang! magazine:

One of the inspiration of the record is the idea that there are so many stimuli going on right now, there are so many computers, iPhones, TVs, media, that nobody really knows what's important anymore. There is no underground anymore because everything is homogenised and coming through the same filter. There are far fewer instances of certain circumstances affecting specific scenes, music and culture. <Technology> has become a substitute for actually living and experiencing things. That's scary... It's like a cultural depression.[5]

Promotion[edit]

The band released several demo snippets on their YouTube channel.[12] Furthermore a website for the record was set up, linking to all of the studio update videos and demo snippets.[13] During their North American East Coast tour with Thursday in December 2009, the band sold download cards at their shows that entitled the customer to a download of the 10 song album upon its release with 3 additional exclusive bonus tracks.[14]

"Farewell, Mona Lisa", the album's first single, debuted on Liquid Metal SXM on Christmas Day, 2009;[15] it became available for download on January 19, 2010.[16] "Chinese Whispers" was debuted on Full Metal Jackie’s syndicated radio show broadcast on 29 stations throughout the USA on the March 5, 2010, and was subsequently played on the next two days. On March 9, the blog MetalSucks featured the online debut of the song.[17]

In February, the album was made available for pre-orders through the Season of Mist e-shop. It was available in a variety of formats, including a box set, Digipak, black vinyl and transparent vinyl. A white vinyl was later made available through Relapse Records.

Artwork[edit]

Former frontman Dimitri Minakakis (who also contributed artwork for 2004 album Miss Machine) created the artwork for Option Paralysis. In an interview, Jeff Tuttle revealed that the album cover features photographs and images that the members captured themselves.[citation needed]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AbsolutePunk (90%)[18]
AllMusic 4/5 stars[19]
Alternative Press 4.5/5 stars[8]
BBC (positive)[20]
Decibel (8/10)[21]
Rock Sound (9/10)[22]
Slant Magazine 4/5 stars[23]
Spin 3.5/5 stars[24]
Revolver 4/5 stars[25]
Sputnikmusic (4.5/5)[26]
Pitchfork Media (7.2/10) link

Option Paralysis was released to widespread critical acclaim. The album garnered a rating of 82/100, or universal acclaim, on aggregate review site Metacritic.[27]

Option Paralysis debuted at number 78 on the Billboard 200 with 7,100 units sold.[28]

Exclaim! named Option Paralysis the No. 2 Metal Album of 2010.[29]

Option Paralysis received the highest percentage of #1 votes in the 2010 Pitchfork Readers' Poll.[30]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Greg Puciato except "Parasitic Twins" by Jeff Tuttle, all music composed by Ben Weinman.

No. Title Length
1. "Farewell, Mona Lisa"   5:23
2. "Good Neighbor"   2:30
3. "Gold Teeth on a Bum"   5:22
4. "Crystal Morning"   2:02
5. "Endless Endings"   2:32
6. "Widower"   6:23
7. "Room Full of Eyes"   4:15
8. "Chinese Whispers"   4:06
9. "I Wouldn't If You Didn't"   4:14
10. "Parasitic Twins"   4:41

Personnel[edit]

The Dillinger Escape Plan
Guest musicians
Technical
  • Benjamin Weinman – producer
  • Steve Evetts – producer, engineer, mixing
  • Allan Hessler – assistant engineer
  • Alan Douches – mastering
Other
  • Dimitri Minakakis (Pronto Workshop) – artwork
  • Benjamin Weinman – management
  • Jim Morewood (English Gent Organization) – International booking
  • Justin Hirschman (Artist Group International) – North American booking
  • Ian J. Friedman, Esq. – legal

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2010) Peak
position
Australian Albums Chart[34] 53
US Billboard 200[35] 78
US Billboard Hard Rock Albums[35] 5
US Billboard Independent Albums[35] 9
US Billboard Rock Albums[35] 23

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ben Weinman's / The Dillinger Escape Plan's Twitter account - 05/27/2009
  2. ^ Ben Weinman's / The Dillinger Escape Plan's Twitter account - 01/02/2009
  3. ^ Ben Weinman's / The Dillinger Escape Plan's Twitter account - 01/09/2009
  4. ^ a b Kelham, Andrew (October 29, 2009). "Rock Sound talks to Dillinger Escape Plan guitarist Ben Weinman about 'Option Paralysis'". Rock Sound. Retrieved March 2, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Bryant, Tom. Kerrang! #1306, April 03, 2010. Dillinger Escape Plan. p.41
  6. ^ Jon, W (May 27, 2009). "New Dillinger Escape Plan Album to Hit Early 2010 on New Label". Headbangers Blog. MTV. Retrieved March 2, 2010. 
  7. ^ Neilstein, Vince (May 28, 2009). "So, Dillinger Escape Plan have left relapse". MetalSucks. Retrieved March 2, 2010. 
  8. ^ a b Burges, Aaron (April 2010). "Option Paralysis Review & In-Store Session with guitarist Ben Weinman". Alternative Press (Cleveland, Ohio: Alternative Press Magazines Inc.) 24 (#261): p. 124. ISSN 1065-1667. 
  9. ^ The Dillinger Escape Plan's MySpace account - 08/24/2009
  10. ^ Steve Evetts' Twitter account - 11/12/2009
  11. ^ Guitar World February 2010 issue
  12. ^ The Dillinger Escape Plan's YouTube channel
  13. ^ Option Paralysis - www.optionparalysis.net
  14. ^ Ben Weinman's / The Dillinger Escape Plan's Twitter account - 12/05/2009
  15. ^ Ben Weinman's / The Dillinger Escape Plan's Twitter account - 12/24/2009
  16. ^ "Farewell, Mona Lisa: The Dillinger Escape Plan". Amazon.com. Retrieved October 19, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Exclusive Web Debut of The Dillinger Escape Plan's "Chinese Whispers"". MetalSucks. March 3, 2010. Retrieved March 13, 2010. 
  18. ^ Pfleider, Adam (March 11, 2010). "Review: Option Paralysis". AbsolutePunk. Retrieved March 11, 2010. 
  19. ^ Freeman, Phil (March 2010). "Review: Option Paralysis". AllMusic. Retrieved March 12, 2010. 
  20. ^ Diver, Mike (March 10, 2010). "Review: Option Paralysis". BBC. Retrieved March 10, 2010. 
  21. ^ Green, Nick (April 2010). "The Dillinger Escape Plan remain predictably unpredictable on Option Paralysis". Decibel (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Red Flag Media Inc.) (#66): pp. 69–70. ISSN 1557-2137. Retrieved March 23, 2010. [dead link]
  22. ^ Patashnik, Ben (March 15, 2010). "Review: Option Paralysis". Rock Sound. Retrieved March 15, 2010. 
  23. ^ Cole, Matthew (March 23, 2010). "The Dillinger Escape Plan: Option Paralysis". Slant Magazine. Retrieved March 23, 2010. 
  24. ^ Weingarten, Christopher (March 9, 2010). "Metal mathematicians throttle anthemic formula". Spin. Retrieved March 22, 2010. 
  25. ^ Geist, Brandon. "Option Paralysis review. Page #88, March/April 2010 issue : The Tattoo issue.". Revolver. 
  26. ^ Flatley, Ryan (March 3, 2010). "Review: Option Paralysis". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved March 3, 2010. 
  27. ^ "Option Paralysis MetaScore". Metacritic. Retrieved April 4, 2010. 
  28. ^ "The Dillinger Escape Plan: Option Paralysis First-Week Sales Revealed". Blabbermouth.net. Roadrunner. April 1, 2010. Retrieved April 1, 2010. 
  29. ^ "Year in Review: Metal". Exclaim!. 
  30. ^ "2010 Pitchfork Readers Poll". Pitchfork Media. January 3, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2011. 
  31. ^ "Option Paralysis LP". Allmusic. Retrieved March 18, 2010. 
  32. ^ "Interview with Ben Weinman of Dillinger Escape Plan: More Than They Were Destined For". The Aquarian Weekly. Retrieved October 19, 2011. 
  33. ^ Metal Hammer Website 12/09/2009
  34. ^ "The ARIA Report: Week Commencing 12 April 2010" (PDF) (1050). Pandora Archive. May 11, 2010. Retrieved September 17, 2011. 
  35. ^ a b c d "Option Paralysis – The Dillinger Escape Plan". Billboard. Retrieved April 4, 2010. 

External links[edit]