It's funny when you think you've gained wisdom. The older that you get, you're pretty sure that you're getting closer to unlocking some truths, even as you're still sloppily moving through your days, often feeling like you remain in your early 20s, dicking around like you've always been. There's no getting over that feeling that you're living somewhat out-of-body, that the life you're immersed in couldn't possibly be your own. You have how many kids? You've been married how long? You're still working there, after all these years? It's a real son of a bitch sometimes and then others, you have a sense of serenity about it all. You feel the appropriate years in your bones and your joints and you feel more distinguished at any dinner table, with a fork and a knife or with a coffee mug dangling from a pinky finger. You're not ONLY just playing a role anymore, you've woven the role right into the stitching of the life that was always going to find you.
When The Dismemberment Plan left off, the stories that lead singer Travis Morrison and gang were writing were always humanized -- but in a way that made you believe that there were many machines at work and they were bearing down on us, slinking through the shadows and about ready to pick our locks and let themselves in for a midnight snack and a raiding of all our finest tobacco. The machines were going to need to be taken down. They were going to short out and, in turn, so would we. We were amongst the monsters, even feeding them when they were hungry. Morrison seemed to have a knack for writing a smirking and futuristic version of corruption into these songs about basic needs like the feeling of inclusion and being happy. With the band's return -- after many long years away -- the years have played out and the machines have gotten less noisy, less threatening. There's a feeling going through here that suggests that we might have been working ourselves up for nothing, but that we should have seen unhappiness and disenchantment as being our own devices all along.
There are many instances on "Uncanney Valley," where you know that you're older, where you know that the men who make up The DPlan are older. There are more moments where the tiny slivers of happiness are more prominent, even in a song like "Daddy Was A Real Good Dancer," where a young man put away his dancing shoes to provide for his kids. The record's final song, "Let's Just Go To The Dogs Tonight," is a little about throwing everything to the wind -- in a sense admitting to all attempts to beat the system as being feeble -- but even more about taking hard times in stride and saying, "Fuck it," more often, knowing that the chapters are long.
The Dismemberment Plan Official Site