Motion City Soundtrack is a unique act. They have a signature sound distinct from almost any other, and still manage to change that sound up between releases to give each record its own character. For the release of their latest album, we here at Mind Equals Blown have done retrospective reviews of all of their past work, as well as a review of the new one. In typical big-release fashion, this column also sees a post dedicated to the band as well. Featuring some of my personal favorites from their catalog, this week sees “Everything Is Alright,” “Her Words Destroyed My Planet,” and “Timelines” taking the spotlight and celebrating another solid release from one of the best bands in the scene.
1. “Everything Is Alright” – from Commit This To Memory
If you’ve heard this song before and don’t get excited as soon as you hear the opening drum beat, I don’t understand you. As far as pop-rock goes, Motion City Soundtrack does it right, and this bit of neuroticism is one of the best tracks they’ve ever put out. Featuring a healthy dose of synths, great drum and guitar parts, and great vocals both lead and backing, this is a well-constructed song that’s quick to get stuck in your head and slow to leave. Commit This To Memory was where the band first started coming into their own, and this track showed off the quirky and the serious in all the right ways.
2. “Her Words Destroyed My Planet” – from My Dinosaur Life
I already had the opportunity to rave about this track in my retrospective review of My Dinosaur Life, but there’s always more to praise when a song’s this good. Probably the best lead single Motion City Soundtrack has put out to date, it was also a pretty great indicator of what would come on the rest of the record. With its monster chorus and a great set of lyrics, this is a huge singalong breakup song that was made to rock out to. Keeping the song both fun and rooted in its emotions, it’s full of post-separation angst and brilliant pieces of writing like “I sent you a postcard, but the post office sent it back. They said they building’s been torn down, I just miss what I thought we both had.” The buildup to the final chorus is flawless, and those lines cement it as one of the best moments in any of the band’s work. This is just a great song. Be sure to watch the video, it’s just as good.
3. “Timelines” – from Go
Atmospheric and moving, “Timelines” struck me just the right way from a first listen. The confessional and questioning nature of the lyrics are brutally honest, and the line “it’s not a matter of time, it’s just a matter of timing” is just too true. The stress in the vocals in the largely positive and hopeful bridge is a well-fitting, and the drum fills perfectly complement the guitars, bass, and synth. This track does a really good job of balancing the sadness of the lyrics with the slightly more upbeat nature of the musical content, allowing for the hook to get stuck in your head while still maintaining the elements of seriousness and contemplativeness engrained in the words. The song shows a lot of maturity, and it is certainly one of the best to be found on Go.