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Option Paralysis

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Title: Option Paralysis  
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Subject: The Dillinger Escape Plan, Greg Puciato, Dimitri Minakakis,, Steve Evetts, Mike Garson, 2010 in heavy metal music
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Option Paralysis

Option Paralysis
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
Option Paralysis
One of Us Is the Killer

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]


Formation of Party Smasher Inc.

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]


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 the longest one yet at over 41 minutes, and is described by Ben Weinman as "our most metal record yet."[11]


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. has become a substitute for actually living and experiencing things. That's scary... It's like a cultural depression.[5]


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.


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.


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

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


The Dillinger Escape Plan
Guest musicians
  • Benjamin Weinman – producer
  • Steve Evetts – producer, engineer, mixing
  • Allan Hessler – assistant engineer
  • Alan Douches – mastering
  • 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

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


External links

  • Myspace
  • Track-by-track descriptions with Liam Wilson
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