The Dismemberment Plan Emergency & I

The Dismemberment Plan Emergency & I
When the Dismemberment Plan released Emergency & I back in late 1999 (a time when boy bands and nü metal ruled the airwaves), their jazz- and R&B-influenced post-punk couldn't have been more out of step. No wonder Interscope (the label for whom the record was originally made) chose not to release it. But its uniqueness, along with the band's mind-blowing live show, won them legions of fans in an underground still reeling from the failed indie revolution that appeared so imminent just a few years prior. In the 11 years since its original release, and eight since the Washington, DC quartet called it quits, the band's legend has only grown. But while the off-kilter rhythms and general eclecticism of bands like Animal Collective and Dirty Projectors certainly suggest a shared aesthetic, you'd be hard-pressed to point to a band that actually sound like D-Plan. Their lack of omnipresence in the music of today makes it easy to forget about the group, but revisiting this record will remind you why you fell in love with them in the first place. Nothing has aged: the crisp rhythm on "What Do You Want Me To Say?" still grooves and frontman Travis Morrison's scatological freak-out raps are as confounding and fun as they were initially. But the four bonus tracks included on this reissue are hardly indispensable. "The Dismemberment Plan Gets Rich" (from their split EP with Juno) treads similar ground as "I Love a Magician," while "Since You Died," (the b-side to the "What Do You Want Me to Say?" single) is a sad, but ultimately self-indulgent track about the death of frontman Travis Morrison's father. It's readily apparent why these tracks were left off the original. Those already familiar with the album can feel free to steer clear of the reissue and make grand "I listened to them back when" pronouncements. But for the uninitiated, there's no better place to start than here. (Barsuk)