The Dismemberment Plan
Uncanny Valley - PARTISAN
FILTER Grade: 85%
By Marty Satini Garner on October 17, 2013
Lest you think that an adulthood spent working for posts Huffington and Washington has ruined Travis Morrison’s sense of humor, he opens Uncanney Valley with a joke: “You press the spacebar enough and cocaine comes out/I really like this computer.” It’s corny, yeah, but is it ever good to hear the vacuuming whirr of synth and the chime of sideways guitars that come raging behind it. It’s been 12 years since The Dismemberment Plan wrung their hands and made Change and then went their separate ways, and the time since has mellowed them out considerably. The hard-charging ending of “Mexico City Christmas” aside, the group largely sidestep their old ferocity; not surprisingly, Uncanney Valley is the least anxious Dismemberment Plan record since Is Terrified, but that doesn’t mean that the group have become complacent. Morrison turns his ever-honest eyes towards fatherhood and commitment, while the band balance his emotional vulnerability on thin lines of guitar, dangling the whole thing over a churning ocean of rhythm. Turns out that old Plan sound works just as well for middle-aged reflection as it did for youthful sexual frustration.