Travis Morrison, former frontman for defunct D.C. indie rock band The Dismemberment Plan tried out solo musicianship before asking David Brown, Brandon Kalber, Vince Magno and Thomas Orgren to join him.
TMH's debut CD, All Y'all, was released in late 2007 on Seattle indie label Barsuk. Morrison is an East Coast guy (he now lives in Brooklyn; his bandmates are in D.C.), but TMH is a perfect mate for the label's other groups.
"With every album, there's label drama. [The Plan] were at a place where we had put out Change, and we were trying to find a new label. We knew Death Cab for Cutie and they were on Barsuk. Then The Plan broke up mid label search, and that solved that," Morrison said, laughing. "But I was like, 'I'm still me,' and Barsuk was still interested."
Morrison put out his solo debut, Travistan, to mixed reviews. Pitchfork, who had given The Plan high marks (8.6 for Change) gave Travistan a nothing, nil, a zero-point-zero, not so much as a fraction. Other outlets such as AP (Alternative Press), Blender, Rockpile, CMJ and even Rolling Stone were kinder, some even a bit effusive, but if they had heard All Y'all first, they too might have beefed Travistan. All Y'all is just that much damn better.
TMH now has five members and Morrison said this lineup will probably remain. They are Hellfighters after all, named for WWII black military band, the Harlem Hellfighters, a group from which came many big names in jazz."It's a peculiar name for a white rock band, but I'm a big jazz fan. "
"But we kind of sound like a minor league baseball team. Maybe we should have been the Mudhens or the Fighting Iguanas."
March 14 with ReVolt ReVolt, 9 p.m., $3. Neurolux, 111 N. 11th St., 208-345-0886.