mp3: Inspirational Track of The Day #3 – Dismemberment Plan

The Dismemberment Plan – Gyroscope


Here at the Inspirational Track of The Day Department it’s always a pleasure to discover old tracks that are new to me and a lot of people out there. With modern day indie bands taking copious amounts of Polyjuice Potion, it’s incredibly refreshing to know through cold hard aural evidence that things weren’t always so indistinguishable. Indie rock band The Dismemberment Plan Emergency & I was released as a vinyl reissue earlier this month with extended features and initially I was surprised at how bizarre their sound was. Not to mention their lyrics. Come to mention it, the arrangements were highly unpredictable too.

I am a massive fan of unusual time signatures and it is  a device that indie bands in particular simply do not embrace enough. Considering a conventional set-up of guitar/drums/bass/vocal is so unflinchingly adhered to, oh and synth (everyone plays synth), decorating the music with rhythmic colour is adventurous and The Dismemberment Plan do so in abundance. Lyrically, an unforgettable chorus is crammed with a clever metaphor, “if he spins fast enough then maybe the broken pieces of his heart/ will stay together but any gyroscope can’t spin forever”, a gyroscope is usually used to provide stability or maintain a reference direction in navigation system, a pretty unusual but utterly perfect expression for a relationship. Travis Morrison’s lyrics don’t waste time by waiting for conventional western 4/4 rhythm and therefore sacrificing any of the natural cadences of speech. Furthermore you just can’t miss the tremolo vocal section that sounds like its been fed through a Leslie speaker cabinet to emulate the rotational effect of a gyroscope. Nice.

As a twenty-something graduate who plays in bands, hearing such a sound like this, it seems copycats couldn’t duplicate it even they wanted to. On his website as of July 2nd 2009, Travis Morrison explained that he was doing “No shows, no records, no band. Just relaxing in Brooklyn.” But following a solid resurgence of interest in the band subsequent to the record re-release, they are now reuniting for a 2011 tour. Watch this space!

Right click, Save As: The Dismemberment Plan – Gyroscope

Here is a Spotify link to the full album

-James Godwin, January 15th, 2011

Copyright © 2011. James Godwin. All rights reserved.