Dismemberment Plan

(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

! , 6/10
Is Terrified , 6.5/10
Emergency and I , 7/10
Change , 6/10
Travis Morrison: Travistan (2004), 5/10

Dismemberment Plan is simultaneously the culmination of the evolutionary parable of Washington's hardcore scene, the belated integration of new wave and punk-rock (25 years later), and proof that "pop creativity" is not a contradiction in terms. Continuing the program of Jawbox and Shudder To Think, the quartet of vocalist Travis Morrison, guitarist/keyboardist Jason Caddell, bassist/keyboardist Eric Axelson and drummer Joe Easley has coined an emotional and romantic post-punk sound.

The style of ! (DeSoto, 1995) is hardcore that has roots in the Ramones (Soon To Be Ex-Quaker) but has experienced the bouncing pop of XTC and B52's (IF I Don't Write, I'm Going to Buy You a Gun). Abrasive guitars, angular rhythms, schizoid vocal harmonies, unstable dynamics (The Small Stuff, OK JOe's Over, Survey Says, with a bizarre 5/4 time signature) display similarities with Soul Coughing, and Brainiac.

Morrison steals the show on Is Terrified (DeSoto, 1997), an album that is both less violent and less extravagant than their debut, but perhaps better bridges the gap between hardcore and noise-rock. The standouts (That's When The Party Started, This Is The Life, Doing The Standing Still, Tonight We Mean It) sound like the work of a singer songwriter casually backed by a bunch of friends.

Emergency and I (DeSoto, 1999) benefited from a lavish production and upped the ante in many ways. A sci-fi concept album, it engages in all sorts of studio witchcraft and succeeds in integrating elements of hardcore, new wave, funk, soul and hip hop. a fusion spanning three generations of quirky pop: Talking Heads (Back and Forth, 8 Minutes, Gyroscope), Pixies (A Life of Possibilities, The Jitters), Brainiac (Spider in the Snow, the anarchic I Need a Magician, the 5/4 meter of Memory Machine).
The idea of the colossal riff that comes out of nowhere is brought to new heights in What Do You Want Me to Say? and You Are Invited, by their sudden, monstrous tsunami of guitars and roaring passion.
The exuberant, layered techno-funk of Talking Heads' Remain in Light is wed to the unbalanced emotional outpours of Nirvana's Nevermind.
Extremes rule, both inside the same song and across the whole album. The relatively sprightly and simple power-pop of What Do You Want Me to Say is mirrored by the desolate, complex cry of The City.

Unfortunately, the "lighter" side of Dismemberment Plan seems to prevail on Change (Desoto, 2001), whose Sentimental Man and Following Through are simply radio-friendly XTC-derived tunes. The band diversify beyond belief, experimenting with soul (The Face Of The Earth, with dub bass), funk (Superpowers), drum'n'bass (The Other Side, with Talking Heads overtones), blues (Pay For The Piano), while retaining the edge of grunge (Secret Curse) and hardcore (Time Bomb). Not much is left untried by this cauldron of stylistic extremes.

A People's History of The Dismemberment Plan (DeSoto, 2003) is a posthumous remix album.

Travis Morrison debuted solo with Travistan (Barsuk, 2004), which pretty much reneged on his previous career. This sounds like a college amateur playing generic alt-rock with an intellectual attitude.

Maritime was the supergroup of Dismemberment Plan's bassist Eric Axelson, Promise Ring's vocalist Davey von Bohlen, Promise Ring's drummer Dan Didier, and Jawbox's guitarist Jay Robbins that released Glass Floor (2004), We The Vehicles (2006), Heresy and the Hotel Choir (2007).

(Translated by/ Tradotto da: Emanuele Smargiassi)

I Dismemberment Plan sono insieme il culmine della parabola evolutiva della scena hadcore di Washington, la tardiva integrazione di new wave e punk-rock (25 anni dopo), e la prova che la “creatività pop” non è una contraddizione. Continuando il programma dei Jawbox e degli Shudder To Think, il quartetto composto da Travis Morrison (voce), Jason Caddell (chitarra, tastiere), Eric Axelson (basso, tastiere) e Joe Easley (batteria), ha coniato un romantico ed emozionale post-punk.

Lo stile di ! (DeSoto, 1995) è un hardcore che ha radici nei Ramones (Soon To Be Ex-Quaker), ma che ha vissuto il rotondo pop degli XTC e dei B52's (If I Don't Write, I'm Going to Buy You a Gun). Chitarre abrasive, ritmi angolari, armonie vocali schizzate, dinamiche instabili (The Small Stuff, OK Joe's Over, Survey Says, con un bizzarro tempo in 5/4) mostrano somiglianze con Soul Coughing, e Brainiac.

Morrison sale in cattedra in Is Terrified (DeSoto, 1997), un album che è sia meno violento che meno stravagante del loro debutto, che forse media in maniera migliore tra hardcore e noise-rock. Le chicche (That's When The Party Started, This Is The Life, Doing The Standing Still, Tonight We Mean It) suonano come il lavoro di un cantautore casualmente supportato da un pugno di amici.

Emergency and I (DeSoto, 1999) beneficia di una produzione sontuosa e supera il precedente lavoro in più aspetti. Concept album sulla fatascienza, si cimenta in ogni sorta di stregonerie da studio e riesce a integrare elementi hardcore, new wave, funk soul e hip hop. Una fusione che spazia su tre generazioni di pop capriccioso: Talking Heads (Back and Forth, 8 Minutes, Gyroscope), Pixies (A Life of Possibilities, The Jitters), Brainiac (Spider in the Snow, l'anarchica I Need a Magician, i 5/4 di Memory Machine). L'idea del riff colossale che esce dal nulla è portato a nuovi vertici in What Do You Want Me to Say? e You Are Invited, dal loro improvviso, spaventoso tsunami di chitarre e passioni ruggenti.

L'esuberante, stratificato techno-funk di Remain in Light dei Talking Heads è unito all'irrazionale ed emozionale sfogo di Nevermind dei Nirvana.

Limiti estremi, entrambi nello stesso brano e per tutto l'album. Il semplice power-pop relativamente vivace di What Do You Want Me to Say è contrapposto al desolato e complesso grido di The City.

Sfortunatamente l'aspetto “leggero” dei Dismemberment Plan sembra prevalere su Change (Desoto, 2001), le cui Sentimental Man e Following Through sono semplici canzoni radiofoniche alla XTC. La band diversifica oltre il credibile, sperimentando con soul (The Face Of The Earth, con dub bass), funk (Superpowers), drum'n'bass (The Other Side, con accenni ai Talking Heads), blues (Pay For The Piano), per poi rasentare il grunge (Secret Curse) e l'hardcore (Time Bomb). Niente è lasciato intentato in questo calderone di estremi stilistici.

A People's History of The Dismemberment Plan (DeSoto, 2003) è un postumo remix album.

Travis Morrison debutta da solista con Travistan (Barsuk, 2004), che rinnega abbondantemente la sua carriera precedente. Sembra un amatore che suona alt-rock qualsiasi con un approccio intellettuale.

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