The Dismemberment Plan Change on 180g LP + Download Card
Available for the First Time on Vinyl!
It’s odd to think of anything post-millennium as an entirely different time compared to present day, but given the way culture moves nowadays, the year 2001 might as well have been a lifetime ago. Take, for instance, beloved Washington, D.C.-based post-punk party band The Dismemberment Plan. The quartet - vocalist/guitarist Travis Morrison, guitarist Jason Caddell, bassist Eric Axelson and drummer Joe Easley - had been making music for close to a decade before finally breaking through with 1999’s Emergency & I, a tightly wound slab of mathy-yet-danceable, slightly off-kilter rock ’n’ roll that rightfully deserved all the praise it earned from critics.
In March 2001, the band entered Inner Ear Studios in Arlington, Virginia, with venerable producer J. Robbins, who the band had previously worked with for Emergency & I. The result, Change, was released that October - and after being physically out of print for several years, it is being reissued by Partisan Records, on vinyl for the first time. The record will be a 180-gram LP in a gatefold sleeve with a 12-page booklet containing art, photography and lyrics to all 11 songs - including “Ellen And Ben,” which was omitted from the original CD version.
Change would end up being the Plan’s final album in their first iteration - something Morrison didn’t know at the time but can easily point out now. “Looking back, I can see where the gas ran out. In the timeline of the songwriting, it was a struggle to get it over the finish line. The last song we finished was ‘Ellen And Ben,’ and I think it’s last on the record for a reason. Listening to it now, it sounds very much like the romantic equivalent of what was happening emotionally in the band, where people were getting to that late-20s/early-30s part of your life when you realize college really isn’t coming back and you’re a grown up. It’s a dicey time for a lot of artists, especially rock musicians. I think we captured some of those emotions very vividly. I can hear the band having those thoughts making the record and I can feel to a certain extent the band sputtering out because of those natural emotional conditions. I think the best songs on the record are about that theme.”
The band still plays many of Change's songs live including the driving, high-strung “Following Through,” the relaxed dance vibe of “Ellen And Ben,” the absolutely gorgeous “Face Of The Earth” (the track the frontman pinpoints as his favorite D Plan song) and the angsty, painful “Time Bomb.” These songs easily justify Change’s album title - the band was experimenting, growing, learning and still struggling to come to grips with who they are as artists and as people in general. Those feelings were soon to be echoed throughout America and the world following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 - the same day the band was supposed to begin a headlining tour leading up to Change’s release. Even though Change was completed before this tragedy, the album still carries an eerie sense of foreshadowing.
Change is a perfect reflection of where The Dismemberment Plan and indie-rock culture as a whole was at that time - aging out of their party days, struggling to create a new identity without leaving behind what made them unique and having a spotlight shown on them during the entire process, making the struggle all the more real. Yes, the short-term result was the band breaking up, but given the passage of time, Change has proven its merit time and time again. And with this vinyl reissue, a whole new generation of fans can discover what many before them already knew: The Dismemberment Plan was - and continue to be - an important rock band, the kind you’re eternally thankful was smart enough to leave the basement and enter a recording studio a few times.
The Dismemberment Plan Change Track Listing:
1. Sentimental Man
2. The Face Of The Earth
4. Pay For The Piano
5. Come Home
6. Secret Curse
8. Following Through
9. Time Bomb
10. The Other Side
11. Ellen And Ben