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Friday, August 17, 2012

The Dismemberment Plan -- The Ice of Boston


The Dismemberment Plan's short-lived tenure on a major label resulted in this solitary EP.  The first track, "The Ice of Boston," was the best track on the Dismemberment Plan's album previous this. I don't grudge its inclusion here. It would have been a great introduction to a mass audience if the band had ever had a chance to reach one. "The Ice of Boston" is followed here by three new tracks. The first, "The First Anniversary of Your Last Phone Call," is the first and only track by The Dismemberment Plan that I would call forgettable. It's almost like it wasn't deemed worthy of any of their full lengths, and was thus banished here. Also, I had a sentence with the phrase "the first" written three times in it, and I banished it to this review.
The second new song is "Just Like You." "Just Like You" is far more memorable than the previous song, but it's clear that the band are at the exact point in their career, during this very song, of attempting to reconcile their earlier freak-out style with a new, more mature style. Because of this, the song is a little bit of a mess, and far from The Dismemberment Plan's best material.
The final new track, and EP closer, "Spider in the Snow," a demo from the band's upcoming album, Emergency and I (fifth comma is the charm!), is a revelation. It features a keyboard that's more than a dissonant noise, the best, skippiest bass and drums interplay The Dismemberment Plan have yet featured, great vocals and lyrics from Travis Morrison, intriguing (I hate that word, but I hate its closest synonym, "fascinating," just as much. Maybe I have problems) guitar work, and it's also the best thing the band have yet recorded (haha, previous sentence, this one has TEN commas!). "Spider in the Snow" ends this strange EP on a very high note and builds great anticipation for whatever it is The Dismemberment Plan are about to do next.

1998 Interscope
1.The Ice of Boston 4:57
2.The First Anniversary of Your Last Phone Call 4:42
3. Just Like You 4:40
4. Spider in the Snow 3:50

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