Album Reviews

Motion City Soundtrack – I Am The Movie

(Epitaph) UK release date: 23 June 2003

Motion City Soundtrack - I Am The Movie This is the debut album from Minneapolis quintet Motion City Soundtrack, and in no-nonsense style it packs 14 tracks into43 frenetic minutes, which is just the way it should be. The band’s rise to the Epitaph roster has surprised even themselves, as guitarist Jason Pierre previously compared them to a second rate Jimmy Eat World. Refreshing honesty.

It is immediately apparent that these boys have a talent for melodic songs, catchy hooks, spiky lyrics and an untampered sound, similar in many ways to Green Day, or, in weaker moments, resembling Three Colours Red. Pierre sometimes comes across as a young James Dean Bradfield in vocal colour, bearing a stronger top register which gets overused in The Future Freaks Me Out. For me this is the least effective song on the album, with lyrics on Will And Grace clumsily coupled with drum and bass.

That said, when the boys fully rock out they’re well worth hearing. Forthcoming single My Favorite Accident has a central hook of “skin, skin, please let me in” that lends the song a strong punchline, and the “call me back tomorrow”refrain of Capital H provides a strong foil for the relatively geeky verse. Tony Thaxton drums a treat on Red Dress, one of many high points where musicianship is concerned.

My main criticism of Motion City Soundtrack is that they’re too one-dimensional, although it’s worth pointing out that only four songs on the album were penned by the current line-up. The occasional forays into college-boy punk don’t help their cause; a raw sound is much more appropriate for the band. They are at their most effective when backing vocals are employed, with closing track A-OK given greater depth and even the coda of The Future Freaks Me Out almost rescuing what went before.

So, if like me, you’d not been aware of Motion City Soundtrack up until now, rest assured that, if you like your Hundred Reasons, Green Day or even Queens Of The Stone Age, this band could tickle your fancy. Expect them to improve further on the second album, which has apparently already been recorded.

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Motion City Soundtrack – I Am The Movie