The Plot In You premiered their latest album, Dispose, on February 16 on Billboard Music. Lead singer and songwriter Landon Tewers co – produced the album in Los Angeles with Drew Fulk, known for his work with Crown The Empire and I Prevail. As their first album with Fearless Records, Dispose contains ten tracks total and steers away from the band’s signature, heavy sound, leaving just a risky, yet shell of their previous work — and in its place a calculated contingency away from the past.
For the most part, the album backs off the heavy guitars, defiant lyrics, and warmongering breakdowns. Once classified as a metal band, The Plot In You both proves their versatility and bends unspoken rules characteristic in their previous albums, such as 2011’s First Born, instead turning to multiple genres such as pop, rock, and electronic.
Dispose opens up with “Rigged,” a slow, intense build of a track centered around a few clean, crisp guitar riffs which transition into a tense progression of Nine Inch Nails – esque industrial electronic sounds and a chaotic blitz, culminating with Tewers asking the question, “What’s left in me? Guess we’ll see. Didn’t see this coming.” This question sets the tone for the rest of the album.
While every track experiments with the extensions of the band’s songwriting abilities, such as “One Last Time,” and “Paid in Full,” Dispose falls victim to the bane of many modern releases: tracks set in a difficult – to – follow order. However, this is not an unforgivable sin as many of the songs stand well on their own to be played as one – offs as opposed to a back to back listen. A few points’ deduction, but not a total loss.
In fairness, The Plot In You, takes an exciting artistic risk. While their heavy side still exists in songs such as the anthemic “Feel Nothing,” they leave room for a Frank Ocean/Ed Sheeran – type ballad with “The Sound,” which introduces a soulful, lounge saxophone solo to accompany Josh Childress’ shining, dramatic guitar performance. Tewers plays with this same concept on “I Always Wanted to Leave.” Both songs deal lyrically with the stages that many relationships go through: comfort and security, and then betrayal and loss.
The band’s unsung heroes, however, are drummer Mathis Arnell and bassist Ethan Yoder, who hold down the basis of this rock/pop – driven album. Songs such as “The One You Love” and “Disposable Fix,” both use a building block approach, starting with input from the rhythm section and centering around their pocket. Along with Childress, Arnell and Yoder keep the instruments minimalistic yet intentional. The space left in each song provides a mysterious effect which draws the listener in and allows for the breathing and taking in of fine details in each painting. This is also true for the music videos of the album, “Feel Nothing,” “Not Just Breathing,” “I Always Wanted to Leave,” and “Disposable Fix,” all of which Arnell directed.
Although Dispose has been met with mixed criticism over the band’s changed sound, their songwriting, engineering, and production deserve acknowledgment. And whether most fans enjoy these changes or not, some credit must be given to the group for sticking to their intentions and musical wishes. Independent of any previous claims, songs, or performances, Dispose objectively displays cohesion, weighted movements, experimentation, and vulnerable soul. At the very worse, it could be a small misstep in a continuing career; at best, a welcome change in direction, an honest set of thoughts, and a passionate description of current events with a unique blend of genres. That is to say, overall, it’s a solid effort that The Plot in You can be proud of.
Dispose is available digitally and physically at all major platforms.
Key Tracks: “Feel Nothing,” “The One You Loved,” “The Sound”