Thursday, October 11, 2001

D-Plan has heard it all - emo, punk, funk, pop and good ol’ barroom rock and roll. Just about every descriptor you could put before four guys on stage with guitars, bass, drums and an old synthesizer.

Perhaps because they hail from the Washington, DC area, there are clumsy comparisons to Fugazi. Though the band’s rhythm section is pretty Dischordant, the Plan harkens back to two earlier bands - Talking Heads and the Clash - who fused the above influences around them into something slightly different, something undeniably bouncing and rocking, and - as those who’ve attended their sweaty shows, the ones with the high schoolers dressed like robots charging the stage, threatening bodily harm to the band even as the rock continues - something for the children.

Playwright Edward Albee once lampooned the need to categorize by referring to a fictional work of art's "quietly noisy relaxed intensity." So too Plan fans will heap on the labels to assure that the band fits into whatever scene the sycophants need to be part of. My attitude: just enjoy it.

Fans of earlier albums will not be disappointed, nor will they find something that sounds entirely similar to what came before. "Change" is not a radical departure; still present is the wailing organ, the tight bass lines, tighter drumming and vocal storytellings of lead singer Travis Morrison.

Morrison also retains his uncanny ability to capture - poetically, I’d venture - moments, like little personal essays, of life in these days, these ages, these cities.

"As kisses go, it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary," begins "Face of the Earth." Morrison then tells us, in reverse, looking back from that first kiss, a relationship exploded and ended. On "Ellen and Ben," he returns to the ramblings that made "You are Invited," from the band’s previous full length, "Emergency and I," so enjoyable.

Some of the band’s melodic choices may come to longtime listeners as a dissonant shock. You realize in listening, however, that the band has made a conscious choice: evolve, experiment and don’t choose the obvious melodic paths. The progressions make sense.

Rating: A- (If nothing else, Jessica Hopper does the band's PR)

Reviewed by Crispin Havernill
The Hills Have Eyes 2

Hostel Part II

Six Degrees



Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip


The Hills Have Eyes

Love Monkey

Out of Practice

Head Cases

Crunchwrap Supreme

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Batman Begins

Garden State


13 Going On 30



Kill Bill, Vol. 2

Line of Fire

We Shall All Be Healed

Happy Family

Arrested Development

Love Actually

A Minute with Stan Hooper


Karen Sisco

Stop All the World Now

Cold Case



Joan of Arcadia



Lost In Translation

House of 1000 Corpses

Bubba Ho-Tep

Darkness Falls

Pirates of the Caribbean

The Amazing Race

Treasure Island



To Hit Armor Class Zero

Without A Trace

8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter

Life With Bonnie

Jalapeño Cheeseburger

The Mothman Prophecies

Happy Campers

The Man Who Wasn't There

Kiss of the Dragon

Josie & the Pussycats

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Dr. Pepper

Know By Heart

Waking Life


Thirteen Ghosts

Earthlink presents Chang and Eng

New York and Country Bar


Motivation and Water Tower Grammar

Crossing Philly

Makeout Club


The Gap

The Abolition of Work

3000 Miles to Graceland



The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Diesel Sweeties

The Cold Six Thousand

The Grilled Stuft Burrito (Rebuttal)

60 Second Wipeout

The Patriot

Grilled Stuft Burrito



Frankenfinger E.P.

One Force Down


Both Our Secrets

Happy Birthday Captain Columbus!

Fight Club

Whatever It Takes


That Skinny Motherfucker with the High Voice?

Joe Dirt

The Veggie Whopper

Taco Bell Nachos


Godzilla vs. Monster Zero

The Terror of Mechagodzilla

To The Center


American Psycho

The Del Shredder

What Lies Beneath

The Cheesy Gordita Crunch

Bring It On

Chill Factor

Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars

Bad Company

The Blair Witch Project

Hyacinths and Thistles

Lake of Dracula

We'll Have a Time

Home Depot

Snow Day

The Virgin Suicides