Since the DIsmemberment Plan split after 2001’s Change — and since frontman Travis Morrison got a 0.0 from Pitchfork for the disastrous Travistan, a review that for all intents and purposes single-handedly pushed him out of music-making — the band’s legacy has been a bit unclear. Let’s shake off the cobwebs right now. The sound the band achieved on 1999’s Emergency & I remains unduplicated and unparalleled: spastic proto-dance-punk and shimmering indie-pop blended like the world’s strongest margarita under Morrison’s yelpy, paranoid vocals — and the best lyrics in indie rock. Despite the million or so songs on the topics, few have ever written better about loneliness and misanthropy than he did on “The City” or “Back and Forth.” Now, the band’s playing a few reunion shows (their second mini-reunion tour, for those keeping track) on the East Coast in January in honor of the January 2011 reissue of Emergency & I on vinyl.
I’m going to say this again, so there’s no confusion: This is one of the best albums ever made. It makes LCD Soundsystem look like a kid building Legos and peeing his pants. When it comes out, you will go buy it and listen to it on your record player on loop until you want to die. Clear? Remember, everybody and also Kelly Clarkson: The city’s been dead / since you’ve been gawwwwwwwwwwwn!
(Related: Bassist Eric Axelson went on to play in Maritime, and that band’s We, The Vehicles is a minor classic.)