The reason being, Dillinger Four is one of the more leftist bands I could think of off the top of my head at the time. They also are a particular type of band for me. I don't listen to them often enough and each time I put them on, especially this album, I'm immediately pissed off at myself for not remembering how much I love the band. They write really great pop-punk, but have so much going on beneath the surface that it really elevates the band from good to great if you're paying close enough attention.
Granted, I came up with the idea for this post about 4 days ago and only got around to writing it now, so I'm sure some of the ideas will be diminished.
Dillinger Four have long been the darlings of your average punknews.org and Fest frequenter and a lot of that is due to the band's image as four burly guys who like to play fast, sing loud and drink lots. Especially the last part. This image mainly comes from the band's live show, which is a whole lot of the last three things. However, I think that this is way too sweeping of a generalization and really undermines the sharpness of the thought that is put into the band's lyrics.
The song "Gainesville", which is about the Fest, is what the band is most well-known for among your average punk fan and while that is a really good song, I think it's unfair. Fest has gotten to be very, very popular and most goers adopt the song as a sort of anthem for the festival, for obvious reasons, but Dillnger Four released the album in 2008, meaning they must have wrote the song even earlier than that. To me, that means that the song represents the band during the very earlier stages of the festival, like the 4th or 5th edition, rather than the larger punk circus it's become now. I'm not trying to deny that the festival is still fun, but I'm definitely sure that it's not the same as it used to be at all. The song is about feeling good and drinking in the sun in Florida when you're used to cold weather where you come from. Again, while a good song, to me that doesn't even come close to summing up Dillinger Four and it seems lame that that is what most punk fans have distilled their existence into.
For me, Situationist Comedy, is what defines the band. The opening song, "NOBLE STABBINGS!!", was my introduction to the band as it was including on a Fat Wreck Chords compilation I had bought, which is what caused me to pick up this album over their earlier releases. At first the band seems like a pretty rough ride because of how fast they play (very fast!) and their guitar tones and vocal style.
Bruh, the bass tone. Holy fuck.
And this is correct, I think this is a very conscious throwback to early 80's hardcore by the band. Given that the members are older (I would assume they're close to or over 40), this comes off as the member experiencing that music first hand and playing their punk music that way because that's how they learned it. This is rather than an appropriation of an earlier generation's style of playing, which is more and more the case with punk and especially hardcore these days.
But underneath this fast roughness is a band who is absolutely phenomenal at writing melodies and especially vocal harmonies. They are so good at that you don't even really notice it until you realize that you are humming along to a song that's like over 200 bpm. Every single chorus is huge. There's these great, unconventional but catchy guitar riffs everywhere you turn. The pop sensibility is astounding.
Case in point, one of my favourite cuts from the album, "folk song.":
I guess that I also really like this release because it in particular really fits with my personal politics. The album was released at a time when being a "political" punk band meant yelling about about George W. Bush and the military and not much else. Dillinger Four instead took a more subtle approach, describing their experiences living in a post-9/11 United States and how it affected them. This works out really well, because rather than being introduced to their ideas, you are introduced to their experiences and you can then relate to them. The result is basically you thinking "I can understand why you think that." instead of just "You think that."
There are a ton of great lines about being working class, which is why the album was on my mind during and following the election. It's a great soundtrack to being critical, but also thinking about why you should be critical.
I'm not really one for giving political statements to people, but I would like to leave with the following, that I think is helpful for people to keep in mind in today's world:
Try to be aware of the greater system that you are a part of and think of why you are a part of it. Be aware of your relationship with money and commodities and do not let them govern what and how you do things. Always think "Why?" and do not let people force you to do things you do not want to do.
And crank this fucking album while you do that, I guess.