Motion City Soundtrack - My Dinosaur Life
Record Label: Columbia
Release Date: January 19, 2009
2010 looks to be a good year for Motion City Soundtrack.
I first heard Motion City Soundtrack on the 2005 Nintendo Fusion Tour. Needless to say, I had to backtrack in order to appreciate the band's tenacity. "My Favorite Accident," "Make Out Kids," and "The Future Freaks Me Out" immediately hit my iPod; I don't think they've left. Most fans would be worried about their favorite band making the transition from popular indie label Epitaph to a major label like Columbia. Most fans would.
Produced by Mark Hoppus, My Dinosaur Life has been in the making for over a year. Twelve months ago, drummer Tony Thaxton broke his right arm, delaying the recording process. According to motioncitysoundtrack.com, the setback gave the group a chance to reevaluate some of their songs, as well as write new ones. The result is a twelve track tour de force with almost forty minutes of synth, guitar, and range.
The album explodes to life about twenty-five seconds into the first track, "Worker Bee." With a reluctant, self-asserting introduction, MCS invites the listener to accompany the eusocial insect on a journey through contradictory lyrics. "A Lifeless Ordinary (Need a Little Help)" contributes humility via overlying bridge harmony and a hook that takes fans back to Commit This To Memory. Loyal fans have already heard "Her Words Destroyed My Planet"—- the music video is showcased on the bands website (motioncitysoundtrack.com)—- which picks up exactly where Even If It Kills Me left off. The first single, "Disappear," takes a mild leap, even while remaining true to the band's synth-pop signature sound. Something resembling Bayside escapes, revealing a sort of confusing sense of rejection-— a familiar MCS topic-—narrated over an alternative chord progression. The song works, but seems almost foreign. The most surprising gem is "Delirium." The Presidents of the United States of America first came to mind (very few bands could sing about a stain on the floor or caterpillars raining from the ceiling), but the chorus rings true of any other MCS song: pure pop-rock.
Other standouts include "History Lesson" and the happier "Stand Too Close," which incorporates the band's signature bubblegum pop while exposing an acoustic talent that this band no longer appears afraid of. "Pulp Fiction" will hit like a freight train; originally a heavy drum pattern created by bassist/backing vocalist Matt Taylor, this song won't likely be on any of the setlists this spring—- it takes too many keyboards to perform. Lead singer/songwriter Justin Pierre admits that the electronic-driven track has no ties to Quentin Tarantino, but it will probably be just as confusing.
Louder, faster, angrier tracks, like "@!#?@!" and "Hysteria" are also reminiscent of CTTM. It's a tough one to call; will fans embrace the constant dynamic, or will they reject this new effort? Put simply: if you enjoyed Even If It Kills Me, then you'll love My Dinosaur Life. Is it Hoppus' influence, or a mature pop-rock group? Who cares? As one of the few bands that stray very far from their trademark sound, Motion City Soundtrack fans will wear this album out in a matter of days.
There were moments on this album where Justin's vocals sounded more raw and natural as well. Slightly off key, but it wasn't a bad thing. Even If It Kills Me was way to polished for me, and this was a great step back in the right direction. Nice review too, man.
" if you enjoyed Even If It Kills Me, then you'll love My Dinosaur Life."
Really? My Dinosaur Life sounds nothing like Even If It Kills Me. I'm not going to say I hated EIIKM, but I wasn't it's biggest supporter. My Dinosaur Life is the album that should have followed up Commit This To Memory.
This album is a growth from CTTM because Mark Hoppus worked on both albums. EIIKM was a good album, but MDL was the next logical step for this band. They even said they wanted a darker, more rock version of CTTM and used Hoppus to achieve that