The Dillinger Escape Plan

Live Review: Greg Puciato at The El Rey Theater

Last November I had the pleasure of seeing the debut solo show for Greg Puciato. After that show was over, I knew that the next time he came through I had to go, it was one of “those shows.” Both his solo albums, Child Soldier: Creator Of God and Mirrorcell have yet to leave my musical rotation since they came out. Live these songs take on a whole new life and the end result is precisely why I had to go see Greg live again.

Before Greg though, there were three openers to get the night going. I arrived as the last 2 songs of Trace Amount’s set was ending. The mix of industrial and noise made for a very tension filled and intense performance. It’s really interesting to listen to Trace Amount and pick out certain little nuances in the programming.

Next up was Deaf Club who I was really stoked to see having been into their albums. Their set was on fire from the get go. One of the things that I really like most about Deaf Club is that while they are a punk band through and through, they add a more technical element to it with odd time signatures and interesting arrangements. Then when you add in a frontman like Justin Pearson, it’s the right recipe for chaos in the best way possible. During their set they did a cover of Nirvana’s “Tourette’s” with their drummer, the drummer from Escuela Grind and Ben Koller of Converge. It was pretty damn cool to see and hear and the topper was all three drummers were in total sync so that sound bellowing through the El Rey was thunderous!

Following Deaf Club was up and comers Escuela Grind. I wasn’t too familiar with them but, a friend of mine who I was there with was and he got super into it. The band combines grindcore, death metal and a bit of hardcore. Their energetic set was heavy and brutal and at the same time quite fun. Their “singer” had so much energy on stage at one point I was half expecting her to breakout into a full gymnastics routine with how much she was running and jumping. Solid set from this band and just the right amount of fire to get the crowd ready for what was to come next.

When Greg Puciato and band took the stage it was ON! From the moment they ripped into “Reality Spiral” you knew this was not going to be just any show. The way the set was constructed was absolutely pummeling in both the way that it was intense and pulled at your heart strings. When you have songs like “Do You Need Me To Remind You,” “Absence As A Presence,” and “Fire For Water,” all within minutes of each other, it still has me without the right words. As the set continued, the crowd got even more into it and the next thing I knew I was right up front for my favorite song “Never Wanted That.” I stayed up front for the rest of the night feeding off the energy that was permeating off stage and next to me. One of my other favorite moments was during the end of “Evacuation” Greg broke out part of INXS’s “Need You Tonight” which was totally rad. Ending the “set” for the evening was the always great “September City.” I believe the crowd was singing as loud if not louder than Greg by this point. This night was special in more ways that one. For the encore it was in the words on Larry David “pretty, pretty, pretty good.” Starting it off was Haex joining Greg for a remix version of The Black Queen’s “Secret Scream,” followed by A Perfect Circle’s Billy Howerdel joining Greg for The Black Queen’s “The End Where We Start” which was absolutely great. Then you had Tyler Bates and Gil Sharone join the fun for “Now You’ve Really Done It” from a compilation for DC Comics. Then it was Ben Koller jumping on the stage for “Roach Hiss” which definitely got the crowd screaming along. And to end it all was an absolutely cool and different version of The Dillinger Escape Plan’s “One Of Us Is The Killer.” It was part acapella in the verses and straight up fire during the chorus parts. I also have to mention the band Greg had on this run. What a killer and tight band. Joining Greg was James Hammontree on guitar of Black Magnet (another band you should really check out), Nick Sadler of Daughters on guitar. It was really great to see Nick up there and hearing that monsterous tone he’s had for years. Jeff Geisser on bass manhandled the low end with such tenacity and finally Noah Taylor on drums right in the pocket!

This show was definitely one of those that I’ll remember for a long long time. Greg Puciato’s solo albums are some of the best releases in the past few years. If you haven’t listened to them, I highly suggest you get on top of that! It’s artists like Greg that give me hope for the musical future. The whole package was interesting and gave bands from different genres a different audience making for an eclectic show. I’m glad I went and had a great time and to go with a couple friends that I knew would enjoy it too made it all that much better. Plus getting to see some other friends out in the crowd was quite awesome. I’m kind of at a loss for words at the moment when it comes to how to properly describe this show. I will leave it at this (unless I have a total epiphany of what else to say), shows like this don’t happen all the time. When the chance comes to go see one of your favorite bands, go do it! Thank you to Greg, Deaf Club, Escuela Grind and Trace Amount for one hell of a great evening!

Greg Puciato Set List:

01) In This Hell You Find Yourself
02) Reality Spiral
03) Do You Need Me To Remind You
04) Absence As A Presence
05) Fire For Water
06) Don’t Wanna Deal
07) No More Lives To Go
08) Deep Set
09) Never Wanted That
10) Lowered
11) A Pair Of Questions
12) Creator Of God
13) Evacuation (w/ INXS’s “Need You Tonight”)
14) September City

15) Silent Scream (Haex Remix)
16) The End Where We Start (with Billy Howerdel)
17) Now You’ve Really Done It (with Tyler Bates & Gil Sharone)
18) Roach Hiss (with Ben Koller)
19) One Of Us Is The Killer

Review and Photos By: Brian Lacy

Deaf Club:

Escuela Grind:

Greg Puciato:

NEW RELEASE: Better Lovers- 30 Under 13

What do you get when you mix 3 parts Every Time I Die (Jordan Buckley, Stephen Miccihe, Clayton “Goose” Holyoak) 1 part Fit For An Autopsy/END (Will Putney), and 1 part Dillinger Escape Plan (Greg Puciato)? Well, you get one hell of a new band called Better Lovers! Today, they have debuted their first single “30 Under 13” off their upcoming debut album (release date TBA). The song is an absolute sonic assault of uncompromising and blistering proportions. I personally am extremely stoked on this. An album and tour will be coming soon. In the meantime, I’m gonna be here enjoying the hell out of this song!

Better Lovers- 30 Under 13:

Memorable Live Performances: Nine Inch Nails at The Wiltern 2009

Nine Inch Nails @ the Wiltern in LA (9/10/09) | San Francisco Bay Area  Concerts

Back in 2009, Nine Inch Nails announced a series of shows to sort of say goodbye for the time being. It was a very bittersweet thing to hear but, as a fan for many many many years, it made sense. Before the shows were announced, Nine Inch Nails spent the summer on the road with Jane’s Addiction (with all the original members). That was origianlly supposed to be the end but, seeing as Nine Inch Nails would be playing at different times and under the backdrop of a sunset many a times, it just didn’t feel quite right for that to be the end. Instead, a series of shows were announced in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. I was lucky enough to attend 3 of the 4 Los Angeles shows. The final one was at The Wiltern and what a show it was. Over 3 hours (yes, THREE HOURS) of nonstop Nine Inch Nails at it’s absolute finest. The setlist was utterly perfect and beyond emotional. Thankfully too, there were a group of fans in the audience that night filming it all and they put together one of the best live shows I’ve ever been to. Without giving anything away, I highly recommend you taking the time to watch/listen to this show!

Nine Inch Nails- Live At The Wiltern:

New Release: Greg Puciato- Do You Need Me To Remind You

Greg Puciato on Going Solo, Reclaiming Aggressive Side: "The ...

On October 23, 2020, Greg Puciato will be unleashing his debut solo album, Child Soldier: Creator Of God via his Federal Prisoner Records label. Today, “Do You Need Me To Remind You” the next single/video from the album was released and it is one hell of a killer track from the record. Poison The Well/Dhani Harrison drummer Chris Hornbrook lends his skills on this song. This track along with the two others already released (“Fire For Water” and “Deep Set”) have definitely made this one of the most anticipated albums of 2020. Child Soldier: Creator of God was recorded in L.A. between 2019 and early 2020. It was produced by Nick Rowe (Vampire Weekend, Haim) and mixed by Steve Evetts (the Dillinger Escape Plan, the Cure). In addition to Hornbrook, the featured drummers are Ben Koller (Converge, Mutoid Man, All Pigs Must Die, Killer Be Killed, etc.) and Chris Pennie (the Dillinger Escape Plan, Coheed and Cambria). Pre-Orders are already underway over at the label’s bandcamp HERE.


Do You Need Me To Remind You:


Fire For Water:


Deep Set:


Against The Grain: END

There really is something intriguing about extreme music and the heavier side of rock music. I’ve always been drawn to it in bits and pieces but, as I’ve gotten older, I’m starting to realize the technicality that comes with it. Which brings me to the band END. What began as a fun passion project for guitarist (and producer) Will Putney, quickly became something else as the band became more recognized for their aggressive and volatile music. END features a collection of musicians from various sub-genres of extreme music, including current and former members of Counterparts, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Fit For An Autopsy, Misery Signals, Shai Hulud, and Reign Supreme. And all those pieces have made for quite a reputation. The debut EP From The Unforgiving Arms Of God, released in fall 2017 via Good Fight Music, was met with critical praise and fan response was definitely there as well. This summer will see the release of their debut full-length, Splinters From An Ever-Changing Face. The two songs released from it so far, really are quite a glimpse into their in your face approach to heavy music. END is more than just a run of the mill heavy/extreme band. When you take the time to listen, you can hear a plethora of inspiration and influences, which in turn, makes for quite a listening journey.

END- Pariah:


END- Covet Not:




END- From The Unforgiving Arms Of God:

Title Tracks: The Dillinger Escape Plan


In all my years as a music fan, there is something I’ve really come to understand. When you name your album after a song on your album, there is a pretty good reason for that. The “Title Track” is a very interesting song on the album let alone the one that, really brings it all together in a way. Some bands certainly have nailed it over the years like The Dillinger Escape Plan. When you listen to these tracks and their respective albums, you can definitely understand why the album was titled after it. Here are the ones that The Dillinger Escape Plan have put out. Take a listen and let it sink in.

Calculating Infinity:


One Of Us Is The Killer:




New Release: Greg Puciato- Fire For Water


Greg Puciato from The Black Queen and The Dillinger Escape Plan is gearing up to release his first solo album this summer entitled Child Soldier: Creator Of God (via Federal Prisoner). This album finds Greg tackling the bulk of the instruments on the record with the exception of the drums which were taken on by former Dillinger Escape Plan drummer Chris Pennie. The first song from this new venture, “Fire For Water” is a pretty killer and badass song. It’s got a bit of a vibe you’d recognize from his Dillinger days but, also a nice side of Nine Inch Nails/Godflesh, and Alice In Chains too.

To elaborate on the album, Greg has stated, “I started writing in May or so of 2019, for what I thought would be the next Black Queen album, except that’s not at all what came out. So, just like with everything else that’s been born from necessity, it felt like the right time to create a home for anything that I do that didn’t fit neatly under any other existing roof. The misfits needed a place to go. This particular song came out really quickly. I guess it’s me reclaiming and owning the abrasive part of me. This whole album is, in a way, a very extreme statement of ownership.” Personally, I’m beyond stoked for this. I have a feeling this album is going to be one hell of an experience.

Greg Puciato- Fire For Water:


Deep Cuts: The Dillinger Escape Plan- Phone Home


Back in 2004, when The Dillinger Escape Plan released their second album, Miss Machine, it saw the band move in a more experimental direction. Due to the band previously collaborating with Mike Patton and welcoming in new singer Greg Puciato, the influences from both began to rub off on the band. While Calculating Infinity was a straight up assault, Miss Machine had something more to offer like slower tempos, more dynamics, clean vocals, as well as an electronic/industrial tinge and jazz fusion elements. One such song that has always caught my attention on the album is the track “Phone Home.” This song has a very Nine Inch Nails feel to it. Which is perhaps why I’ve always been drawn to it. Take a couple mins and enjoy this deep cut from one of the most creative bands of the last 20 years.


The Dillinger Escape Plan- Phone Home:


Book Review: Separate The Dawn by Greg Puciato


Ever since I was a little kid, one of my favorite things to do was put on an album I love, lay back with headphones on, and read the lyrics while listening. The journey of getting lost in the words as well as the music, is euphoric. We all know that, as you start to follow a band, you begin to feel a connection. So for many years after connecting to an album, the words become a part of you. The person writing them becomes a literary figure to you. I can remember Jim Morrison being the first one to really hit me that way. So many more over the years like James Hetfield, Trent Reznor, Layne Staley, Jerry Cantrell, etc have hit me in ways that I could relate.

One that really has struck a chord with me in the last 10 years is Greg Puciato of The Dillinger Escape Plan and The Black Queen. On top of the aggressive nature that has been seen by many over the years, there is a person inside that is trying to purge themselves of the pain and anguish they’ve been living with and I fully get it. That being said, Greg recently released a book of his writings called Separate The Dawn and with this release, he’s able to convey a different aspect of himself. Throughout the book, you as the reader, start to feel like you connect with the inner turmoil and tribulations of Greg. The writings tell stories that expand on thoughts one might have on a regular day and keep to ones self. From relationships, to growing up in a strange place, to the thoughts in your head, the way that Greg writes and lays it out, really hits home. The way some of the pieces are written are done in a way that after you read the passage, if you close your eyes, you can almost feel like you are swept away to where this is taking place. The vivid imagery in the way Greg writes is profound. The poetic sensibilities in the verse is something else that really hits as you read on. This book is more than just a collection of writings. It’s a capsule of a time that needed to get out and for people to understand the who and the why of someone.

From start to finish Separate The Dawn is a heavy read. The thoughts that will pass through your own mind while reading will leave you thinking and reflecting on your own self. Although very dark at times, this book does emit a sense of hope. Something  that Separate The Dawn provides as well is a feeling that you are not alone. So often, many of us feel like we aren’t able to express how we feel or feel like we have no where to turn. When a person like Greg, shares this for the world, it’s as though a door has opened and you are welcomed in.

Personally, I love books like this. It shows that not only is the person that you’ve looked up to a genuine person but, it gives just enough insight to see and know why they are the way they are. Lyrics and words are just as powerful as music, and when you have someone with the ability to really write as powerful as these are, it truly completes that sentiment. Separate The Dawn is a book that if you are a fan of Greg and his work, you should definitely read, as well as if you aren’t. I really hope that at some point, there will be another book because after finishing this one, I really can’t wait to read where Greg will go next.


Purchase Separate The Dawn:

Via Federal Prisoner:

Album Review: The Black Queen- Infinite Games


Ever since I first heard The Black Queen‘s debut album Fever Daydream, I’ve been hooked. The Black Queen are a revelation among a sea of imposter bands of the genre. Greg Puciato, Josh Eustis and Steve Alexander have created a sound that is inspired and deep. The lush ambient landscapes and 80’s synth wave driven music along with the exceptional vocals and lyrics have made The Black Queen a real force to be reckoned with.

Their new album Infinite Games is superb from start to finish. From the moment “Even Still I Want To” begins all the way to the closing track”One Edge Of Two,” you as the listener get the full album experience. Songs like “Thrown Into The Dark,” “No Accusations,” “Your Move,” “Lies About You,” and “Spatial Boundaries” will instantly grab you. Then there are other songs like “Impossible Condition,” “100 To Zero,” and “Porcelain Veins”  that really go deep and take you on a bit of a journey. The album is dark and brooding yet sensual and seductive at the same time.

The combination of the three of these men, Josh, Greg and Steve is astounding. What they have created not only extends on what they started with Fever Daydream but, on Infinite Games, they have created an album that transcends the norm of what synth wave music is as well as paying homage to the bands/artists that have influenced and inspired them without making it a straight derivative of those works. Greg Puciato not only is one of the best frontmen of the last century but he undeniably has one of the best voices as well. His ability to go from The Dillinger Escape Plan to The Black Queen not only shows his versatility as a vocalist but also as a lyricist. The lyrical content explores different emotions and themes that he wouldn’t normally get into while in Dillinger, thus making this a visceral and impassioned adventure.

The Black Queen is calling and you need to make it a point of delving into this album, as well as Fever Daydream.

Overall Rating: A

The Black Queen- Infinite Games:

The Black Queen- Fever Daydream: