This is the debut album fromMinneapolis quintet Motion City Soundtrack, andin no-nonsense style it packs 14 tracks into43 frenetic minutes, which is just the way it shouldbe. The band’s rise to the Epitaph roster hassurprised even themselves, as guitarist Jason Pierrepreviously compared them to a second rate Jimmy EatWorld. Refreshing honesty!
It is immediately apparentthat these boys have a talent for melodic songs, catchyhooks, spiky lyrics and an untampered sound, similarin many ways to Green Day, or, in weaker moments,resembling Three Colours Red.Pierre sometimes comes across as a young James DeanBradfield in vocal colour, bearing a stronger topregister which gets overused in The Future Freaks MeOut. For me this is the least effective song on thealbum, with lyrics on Will and Grace clumsily coupledwith drum and bass.
That said, when the boys fullyrock out they’re well worth hearing. Forthcomingsingle My Favorite Accident has a central hook of”skin, skin, please let me in” that lends the song astrong punchline, and the “call me back tomorrow”refrain of Capital H provides a strong foil for therelatively geeky verse. Tony Thaxton drums a treat onRed Dress, one of many highpoints where musicianshipis concerned.
My main criticism of Motion CitySoundtrack is that they’re too one-dimensional, although it’s worth pointing out thatonly four songs on the album were penned by thecurrent line-up. The occasional forays into college-boy punk don’t help their cause; a raw sound is much moreappropriate for the band. They are at their most effective whenbacking vocals are employed, with closing track A-OKgiven greater depth and even the coda of The FutureFreaks Me Out almost rescuing what went before.
So, if like me, you’d not beenaware of Motion City Soundtrack up until now, restassured that, if you like your Hundred Reasons,Green Day or even Queens Of The Stone Age, thisband could tickle your fancy. Expect them to improvefurther on the second album, which has apparentlyalready been recorded.