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C I V I L W a R

Dillinger Four

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Album Review

After a six year wait, Dillinger Four returned with their second album for Fat Wreck Chords. Initial plans were to release a record in October of 2006, but after several delays (most of which were attributed to the members being in their mid-thirties with full-time jobs) an official deadline was finally imposed when NOFX invited Billy and the boys to support them on a future tour, provided that Civil War was finished and ready to promote. Once an end-date was strictly enforced, the ball started rolling quickly. Recorded at the Terrarium with producer Dave Gardener between July and October of 2008, the group re-emerged with a record that held strong to their melodic punk roots, but showed a new, more mature side of the band. The fiery pep is still intact here, but the carefree days of "He's a S******d (Yeah, Yeah)" have been replaced with thoughtful lyrics dealing with social injustices. It's vintage punk in that sense, and that's a good thing. They stand out as a band with significance in a punk pool becoming more diluted with fashion-focused emo-poppers singing about teen angst. As a group coming to terms with the knowledge that they're the old-timers in a modern-day punk scene, their maturity suits them well (their press packet plays up this trait, ranking them as a band as important to the '90s and '00s as Black Flag was to the '80s). With themes that focus on governmental deception and materialism ("A Jingle for the Product"), lousy economical state of being ("Minimum Wage Is a Gateway Drug"), and media propaganda ("Parishiltonisametaphor"), it's their most glossy, most consistent, most calm, and surprisingly, their most socially relevant album, despite their approach toward middle age on a teen-oriented punk playground.

Biography

Formed: 1994 in Minneapolis, MN

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

St. Paul, MN-based punk group Dillinger Four were formed in 1994 by guitarist Erik Funk and bassist Patrick Costello; the group's original line-up, also including guitarist Sloan and drummer Lane Pedersen, held together long enough to record the debut 7" Higher Aspirations: Tempered and Dismantled before Sloan exited to join Man Afraid. After recruiting ex-Scooby Don't guitarist Bill Morrisette, Dillinger Four resurfaced in 1996 with the EP The Kids Are All Dead; a split single with fellow Twin Cities...
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C I V I L W a R, Dillinger Four
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