Review Summary: ‘Go’ seems to be of good substance and contains a few killer tracks, but the songs with a darker theme are not for everybody. With Justin at the ripe old age of 35, we are left wondering how many more releases will be up to par, or can we assume that
The bridge. A fundamental element of any song, even considered as the most important part of a song by some. Justin Pierre and Motion City Soundtrack have certainly seemed to take this to heart in their fifth full-length release ‘Go’, as quite a number of songs on this album ‘peak’ during this section of the song, instrumental or not, making them appear even more intense than the chorus of the song. (see ‘Timelines’, ‘True Romance’)
‘Go’, appropriately titled, starts with a bang, and the diversity of the first six or seven tracks are interesting enough to keep you fully interested and actively listening. However, Motion City seem unable to keep up with the initial impact of the album, rendering the last few tracks on the album very difficult to listen to on play-through. This may be as a result of the bands attempt at a more mellow attempt at the concept of ‘Go’, a theme not often associated with the band. Songs such as ‘The Worst Is Yet To Come’, ‘Happy Anniversary’, ‘Floating Down The River’ appear to be quite weak because of this.
As a whole, Motion City Soundtrack’s fifth full-length release pushes new boundaries in the genre labelled ‘pop-punk’. The Minnesota Five have incorporated elements not often included in the genre, such as clever time signature manipulations, seen in ‘Son of a Gun’ and ‘Box Elder’, which both contain 7/8 time, and key ambiguity in ‘The Coma Kid’ and ‘True Romance’.
In contrast to ‘My Dinosaur Life’, the band’s most recent album, the band has formulated songs that have ‘up’ and ‘down’ moments, allowing for buildups and isolation of specific parts, something that ‘My Dinosaur Life’ did not seem to feature. Songs such as ‘Bad Idea’ illustrate this idea well (no pun intended), pulling down intensity after the second chorus for the revisited vocal line across an effected guitar and drum loop, then bring the last chorus before ending abruptly. These ‘ups and downs’ have also allowed more room for moog player Jesse Johnson to experiment and dictate the overall flow of each track, but it is hard to tell whether these ‘ups and downs’ were created as a result of the inclusion of synthesizer parts, or if the band truly intended to include breakdowns like this.
However, the band has not wavered from its typical style which is imminent across this album, but has somewhat taken a different spin on elements from previous albums. The acoustic influence from ‘My Dinosaur Life’ is definitely featured, appearing on five out of the eleven tracks on the album, and the emphasis on bass guitar, influenced form the same album seems to be followed up. The specific and personal lyrical content is similar to ‘Commit This To Memory’, and the central role of the synthesizer, as aforementioned, shares similarities with ‘Even If It Kills Me’. Along with this, the electric guitar tone and rhythms remind one of their first full-length, ‘I Am The Movie’.
Overall, ‘Go’ seems to be of good substance and contains a few killer tracks, but the songs with a darker theme are not for everybody. With Justin at the ripe old age of 35, we are left wondering how many more releases will be up to par, or can we assume that ‘The Worst Is Yet To Come’? (pun definitely intended. Okay, sorry. It had to be done.)
Songs to check out:
Son of a Gun
Everyone Will Die
The Coma Kid
Give Up Give In (bonus track but worth it)