Motion City Soundtrack

My Dinosaur Life

Written by: PP on 12/02/2010 03:49:38

If Motion City Soundtrack weren't on the verge of a mainstream breakthrough already when they released their arguably weakest (but still solid) album "Even If It Kills Me" two years ago, "My Dinosaur Life" is the record that's going to make Motion City Soundtrack bigger than Fall Out Boy before the end of the year. They have grown up from the sugarcoated pop melodies of their first three albums, possessing a much more mature pop rock sound now, but they've done it without sacrificing any of the energy and infectiously catchy melody that they're known for, and in the process have written a career defining masterpiece which you'll see populating one of the top3 spots on countless "best of 2010" lists in about 10 months from now. Yeah, Motion City Soundtrack's first major label album really is that good, because it achieves precisely what the band wanted to do with the record without taking an inch too much off the ground than is necessary. Their new sound is massive, but not superfluous or artificially inflated, just perfect. The full credit on that must go to the producer Mark Hoppus, as "My Dinosaur Life" is one of the most brilliant records I've heard strictly in terms of production. The sound is crisp and raw when it needs to be, but also clear and radio-friendly when necessary.

One thing you'll notice very quickly is how the previously sugary keyboards have been drastically toned down, and in most cases, pushed to the background, to allow more room for Justin Pierre's vocals to really come to their own. Now as a MCS fan I would've hated to have read that on paper back in December, because their signature keyboard sound was one of the key reasons why songs like "Attractive Today", "Make-Out Kids" and "Capital H" quickly became fan favorites. But on "My Dinosaur Life" Pierre has really come to his own. He sings with pained passion and conviction, you can hear from the strain in his voice how much he really means what he's singing, and his vocal melodies have improved tenfold - no exaggeration.

The tracks range between solid pop rock like "A Lifeless Ordinary", which has a similar vibe as to the hit singles by Elliot Minor, bright pop punk of the instant classic "Disappear", and the fantastically dark alternative rock of "Pulp Fiction" which breaks into New Found Glory style melodic guitar riffs during the choruses. Coincidentally, the chorus riff of the latter sounds near-identical to the one in "Bodybuilder Boyfriend" by The National Shut Up - which surely is just a funny coincidence and nothing else. One thing that all styles and tracks on the record have common, however, is that they're all retardedly catchy. I can't remember the last time I would've heard a pop punk album this catchy, you realistically need just one listen to remember the chorus of any given track on the disc. Despite the focus on ultra-catchy, the songs don't lack in depth at all, and in fact even as I'm on my something like 25th listen through the album (I'm loving it!), I'm still discovering new small intricacies and details about the songs, be it an awesome lyric, a quirky riff, or a tumbling bass line.

Aside from the three tracks mentioned, "Worker Bee", "Her Words Destroyed My Planet", "Delirium", "Hysteria", "Skin And Bones" are all fantastic examples of how fresh pop punk can still sound even though it's 2010. In fact, there isn't a bad, or even an 'average' song on the album, just incredible tracks and 'just' great tracks. Therefore "My Dinosaur Life" can be compared to My Chemical Romance's "The Black Parade" or Fall Out Boy's "Infinity On High", in that this is undeniably the album that's going to be remembered for their mainstream breakthrough. Expect to see and hear about these guys everywhere, because when you have an album this good and a major label machine taking care of promotion for you, great things will happen. Bands (in pop punk especially) take notice: "My Dinosaur Life" is how you can evolve and change your sound radically without pissing all over the old fanbase and at the same time opening your sound to new audiences. You keep all the best qualities of your old sound, remove and improve any tiny weaknesses in it, and introduce new elements this way....in MCS's case, that element is pop explosion. The old records, as awesome as they still are, sound amateurish in comparison to "My Dinosaur Life".

9

Download: Disappear, Skin And Bones, Pulp Fiction
For the fans of: Fall Out Boy, The Starting Line, Cartel, Houston Calls
Listen: Myspace

Release date 19.01.2009
Columbia

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