Music » Critics' Picks

The Dismemberment Plan with Engine Down and Cex

Wednesday, July 16; Creepy Crawl


In most fields of endeavor, there are pioneers and there are imitators. Music, even of the so-called underground variety, is no exception. Although you'd think that the whole point of the indie-rock exercise is to boldly go where no one's gone before, far too many decibels of aping and regurgitation still find their way out of blessed nonexistence. After all, why climb the tree when you can shake the already-ripe fruit out of it?

From early on, the members of the Dismemberment Plan decided to climb, and when they reached the top of the tree, they fashioned wings from its boughs and took to the air in search of stranger fruits. In the ten years of its existence, the band has fearlessly mapped new territory, crafting unbelievable melodies while blending seemingly contradictory influences into an elixir of bootylicious groove, indignant stomp, nervous shuffle and zigzag skitter. Independent, indeed! The most recent full-length, Change, shows the Plan at complete ease amid the incongruities, effortlessly tying together an ever-shifting tide of shiny guitars, fluttering drum-and-bass figures, sensible sprinklings of synth texture and the unabashed longing of vocalist Travis Morrison's irresistibly fluid tenor.

Now, after years of virtually incessant touring, the band members are calling it a day while still at the top of their game -- but not before they take one last victory lap around the continent. It's been leaked that on this, the final outing, the band's set list will consist almost entirely of requests; fans should make sure to get a spot near the front of the capacity crowd that's certain to turn out to bid farewell.

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