The Dismemberment Plan – Change
With the release of Change in 2001, The Dismemberment Plan reached the height of their popularity and solidified their spot in the pantheon of indie rock. Largely smoothing out the edginess heard in their previous albums, the band opts for a more complex yet laid-back sound that’s less art-punk and more psych rock. That isn’t to say the songs are lethargic. No. Most of the 11 tracks on Change is driven by energetic drums that push the songs forward as the guitars chime and ring out while singer Travis Morrison sings in his unique and then newly-honed singing style, which soars significantly more than it used to on the Plan’s three previous albums. It’s a winning combination that brought them into the spotlight and onto college radio stations across the country (that and opening for Pearl Jam). It’s also the sound they chose to retire on. Well, at the time we thought they were finished as they played their farewell show just two years later in 2003. They returned, however, in 2011 for a live album then released a fifth studio album in 2013, but have unfortunately been quiet since.
The Dismemberment Plan was huge in my friends circle in the early 00s. Their sound was perfect for our little arty group of nerds. They put forth enough of a punk aesthetic to not be seen as “sell outs” but also had enough of a serious side to them that we could name-drop them when trying to sound hip (every teenager needs a stable of bands to name drop to sound cool to the college kids). They were and still are great listening for late-night car rides home from concerts, when you’re tired and your ears are still ringing and you just want something to bring you down slowly. The D Plan’s sound hasn’t aged a day and even though they’re likely not coming back (please, Travis, prove me wrong), we still have five excellent albums to play back and enjoy over and over again.