For Fans Of
Motion City Soundtrack came up in a wave of bands that combined alternate rock music with synthesisers and samples and were able to prove themselves as the finest song-writers of the bunch. The main source of their appeal was their fantastic use of melody, helped along by front man Justin Pierre‘s comical view of life. This has also contributed to their longevity, with the group outlasting many of their peers and now arriving at their fifth record ‘Go.’
One criticism that can be applied to the band, regardless of their ability to write some great tunes, is the lack of diversity in their sound. Granted they have thankfully backed of on the kazoo like synths that dominated their finest release ‘Commit This To Memory,’ but as a whole, their body of work rarely deviates too much from the formula.
The opening track Circuits And Wires, presents the most mature sound the group have ever had with quite aggressive guitars that use serious tones only ever brightened by Pierre‘s chorus melodies. It is at this point in which you realise that even though MCS will evolve at a slower pace than most other groups, what they do is incredibly enjoyable to hear, so it doesn’t really matter.
True Romance is more lightweight, mirroring the sound found on their ‘My Dinosaur Life‘ release with touches of the earlier albums. Opting to work with producer Ed Ackerson, who previously recorded a selection of acoustic songs with the band, the crisp and defined sound the group usually use is kept in line. It is almost as if regardless of the many producers the band has worked with in their career, their sound is stronger than any outside influence.
Son Of A Gun is an album highlight, using some of the catchiest melodies and most impressive vocals performances on the record, this quirky little number is MCS taking everything they have become to new ground with playful exuberance. Pierre mentioned that lyrically he seemed obsessed with death on this record, which may explain why there are far more darker tones on this album than any other of the group’s previous offerings. This is by no mean to say things are dark and gloomy as Pierre seems incapable of being to negative, a good example of this is Everyone Will Die, which presents the subject of death as a love song, with powerfully emotion strings and marching drums.
The Coma Kid is another stand out thanks to its simple alt rock structure, as is the super catchy chorus of Bad Idea, both being the style of songs that could appear on a Scrubs soundtrack. The record ends with the fast paced and anthemic Floating Down The River and three bonus tracks for Australian audiences only which are the heaviest ones, possibly left of the main record for this reason.
If you enjoy Motion City Soundtrack’s music it is unlikely that the band will ever let you down. As mentioned throughout the review, they evolve slowly without changing things up too drastically, so you always know what you are going to get, and each time things get a little better.