Review: The Dismemberment Plan

The Dismemberment Plan

The Dismemberment Plan are like the jazz/adult-oriented answer to the emo/indie scene.  Meaning, once you wade through all the “music” out there, you start to get decidedly more demanding in what you spend your precious time listening to.  And if half-assed garage bands just don’t serve you up the angst you had in high school and metal is best served up at the kegger, you might be looking for intelligence within melody.  With “Change,” you can expect lyrical maturity that both challenges and welcomes with the interplay of abstract reasonings painted within familiar and relatable scenarios.  From the track, “Superpowers”:  “I’ve watched the rich risk it all for 15 minutes in a Heathrow bathroom.”

Musicianship abounds with all members striving to throw their individual colors onto each songs canvas.  More mellow and less schizophrenic than previous works, this seems to be a wistfully content Dismemberment Plan.  Still, the peppy “Pay For the Piano” jerks and pops along with classic Dismemberment fervor.  “Secret Curse” rattles off lyrics like someone has a gun to the singer’s head, against a sustained fed-back guitar chord.  A subtle jazz schooling (or at least good comprehension of it) shows through on occasional bridges/breaks and most evidently on “The Other Side,” with its great spacey vibe and shuffling snare and cymbal playing tag with the bass.  Put this one on your next stoner lounge compilation.  “Automatic” sits down and pulls lyrics apart in a sullen tone: “So monstrous and final” is confessed while an acoustic guitar plucks an offstep rhythm.  Songs often play like stories (“Come Home”) with wandering passages that usually serve to support singer Travis Morrison’s little kid voice stories.  When the really high voice gets overused it loses its impact, but nothing can really detract from originality factor.  This is where this band has always obtained critical respect, as they are hard to compare, and any band that makes it hard to drop band comparisons is doing something right.  Trickling melodies and dreamy vibes;  inside jokes and catchy hooks lost in the shuffle;  isolation was never so hip.