It's one of the punchier titles around, and happily the Dismemberment Plan
live up to it on their full debut album. Carrying over a new version of "Wouldn't You Like to Know" (a track from "Can We Be Mature?," their first single), the Plan
-- here with original drummer Steve Cummings -- are a fairly thrash-crazed example of what the term "emo" used to mean. There aren't any apologetic weepouts, just calmer moments amidst pretty explosive performances. The group's debt to the Cure
, whom they had covered on the Give Me the Cure benefit/tribute CD, actually surfaces in the more openly tuneful passages -- it's more pop Cure
than the angst-y version though, since the young band's own screaming frustration derives from other sources. There are hometown faves like the Rites of Spring
, naturally, but one can also catch the intensity of Drive Like Jehu
, if slightly smoothed out and made more accessible. Compared to the group's later, more open embrace of different rhythmic approaches and influences, here it's a touch more straightforward -- Cummings by now means a bad drummer, just not as totally impressive and fluid as Joe Easley. Travis Morrison casts around for a variety of vocal guises rather than settling on one, sometimes chatty and relaxed, other times amping up the screams, and at still other times trying for a bit of soul/lounge shtick. It's an odd combination, but still has a certain something, while the overall combination on such winners as "OK Jokes Over," an analysis of a shredded relationship with a great high-speed rush in the music, is pure delight. For all that the quartet is still a straight-up rock band, there's plenty of hints of their future subtlety and sonic joy -- the chimes and handclaps in "Soon to Be Ex Quaker," the stuttering stop-start rumble of "13th and Euclid."