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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Dismemberment Plan -- Is Terrified


The Dismemberment Plan drop some of their post-punk tendencies and create the kind of music nerds can dance to on Is Terrified. Just because they're terrified doesn't mean they aren't dangerous, though. Travis Morrison's lyrics are even more threateningly intelligent, and new drummer, Joe Easley, drops previous drummer Steve Cummings' bang-away approach for a more sophisticated, hoppy style. Hoppy like a bunny or beer, or both, take your pick and let your imagination run wild. Eric Axleson's bass playing has somehow gotten even groovier. Meanwhile, the guitar interplay between Jason Caddell and Morrison has grown more sophisticated, sometimes spazzy, sometimes relaxed, but always interesting. So why is this the kind of music nerds can dance to?
I don't know, I just opened with that sentence because it sounded like the opening sentence of somebody's Dismemberment Plan review. Wait, this is somebody's Dismemberment Plan review: MINE! I am 6 feet tall and about 190 pounds, and the last time I saw The Dismemberment Plan, I had a good fifty pounds on everyone else at the show (except for The Rabbit), and all these little people were dancing. So that's what I'm basing my first sentence upon. Bite me Pitchfork. Also, I'll end a sentence with a preposition whenever I Anyway, I was reviewing something.
Oh, yeah, the second Dismemberment Plan album, Is Terrified, which is a nice step above their debut, !. Comma Exclamation Period
The obvious highlight here is the part-spoken word, "The Ice of Boston," one of the greatest holiday songs of all time. Since its release, I'm still not sure why everyone doesn't just follow Morrison's New Years example of dumping a bottle of champagne on his head. I want to do that everyday, so if I'm just going to do it once, I might as well do it on New Years. The song really gives the first notion that The Dismemberment Plan can be a popular, or at least populist band, not on a major scale, but with people with a penchant for listening to music that both espouses solipsistic ideals and does not. Wait, what? I don't know what that meant. I think Pitchfork just hacked my review.
Erm (Erm?), here's "The Ice of Boston."

Anyway, if you have a brain, and you enjoy good music, you should check out Is Terrified. It's doesn't feature The Dismemberment Plan at their peak, but it does feature a band climbing to the top of something, even if they are scared out of their minds. Or the title doesn't mean anything, and The Dismemberment Plan have been around a little while now and are learning with time how to create better music. Probably the second one. That one is reasonable, and not just something someone wrote so that they would sound smart. Pitchfork, I'm not like making fun of you throughout this review or anything, but I definitely am.

1997 DeSoto
1. Tonight We Mean It 2:55
2. That's When the Party Started 3:49
3. The Ice of Boston 4:55
4. Academy Award 2:26
5. Bra 3:06
6. Do the Standing Still 2:01
7. This Is the Life 4:06
8. One Too Many Blows to the Head 4:04
9. It's So You 2:17
10. Manipulate Me 2:38
11. Respect Is Due 12:35

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