Travis Morrison Hellfighters

August 5, 2007

If you recall, Pitchfork didn’t like Travis Morrison’s last album, Travistan. This was Mr. Morrison’s first solo album since his band, The Dismemberment Plan, had gone their separate ways. It got no love and even fewer points, scoring 0.0 out of 10. Ouch.

The one and only way to positively look at the brutality decreed by the high court of indie cred was that things could only get better. For example, if Morrison’s new album is 100 times better than the previous one, well then Pitchfork would rate it… well, 100 x 0.0 is still 0. But at least it seems Pitchfork may have forgiven Morrison’s previous sins by providing the forthcoming record with some publicity.

The first mp3 track to hit the internet is “As We Proceed,” a fairly Dismemberment-esque tune. Based on this track alone, Travis and his Hellfighters should score significantly higher than their previous record. The rest of the album streams from the band’s website and sounds pretty damn good.

That said, it’s still unclear whether Travis Morrison will be a successful solo artist. The album is certainly a step in the right direction, but feels at its best when it recalls everything you ever liked about the Dismemberment Plan. When it strays too far (rapping?), it falters. There are some nice surprises here (“East Side of the River” and “Saturday Night”), but with all of the excitement surrounding the Dismemberment Plan reunion to benefit little Callum Robbins, one has to wonder if Morrison will ever step out of his former band’s shadow (or if he should even be trying).

All Y’all is out on August 21.

Listen: As We Proceed, from All Y’all available from Barsuk Records. And just for fun: The Dismemberment Plan – Superpowers, from Change available from DeSoto Records.

Ask Me About My Invisible Friends – Dismemberment Plan

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