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Motion City Soundtrack – My Dinosaur Life

January 19, 2010

I am the Movie was clever and fun. Commit This to Memory was nearly perfect. Even if it Kills Me was poppy, but slightly disappointing. So what is My Dinosaur Life?

Well, the fourth full-length release from the Minnesota quintet Motion City Soundtrack is a well-balanced mix of all the above.

To someone on the outside, Motion City Soundtrack is a pop band with clever lyrics and a synth. But this band is much deeper than that. Singer/guitarist Justin Pierre has had a long battle with drugs and alcohol, which he often references in his music. My Dinosaur Life is Motion City Soundtrack’s darkest, and at times, most personal record. Pierre has never held back his feelings on any of their records, but this album he really lets loose.

Motion City went back to Mark Hoppus to record My Dinosaur Life. In 2005, Hoppus produced arguably their most successful record, Commit This to Memory. The fact that they brought back Hoppus put a lot of fans at ease after coming off what many fans and critics would call a let-down in 2007’s Even if it Kills Me.

What impresses me most about Motion City is their drummer Tony Thaxton. He slays on this record. His dynamic style, mixed with his clever fills add so much to the band. (I still think the end of “Time Turned Fragile” is the coolest drum part ever. Check out this video and skip to 2:30.) His recording on the album was delayed when he was celebrating ringing the new year in 2009 and slipped and broke his arm one hour after midnight. He spent almost all of 2009 rehabbing his arm to get back into playing shape. All the band’s fans should be relieved because Motion City without Thaxton would not be Motion City.

The album opens with “Worker Bee” which features wailing vocals from Pierre. You can tell he really put it all on line when recording his voice on this track. A signature of Motion City Soundtrack is having a short, catchy opening song on their albums. “Worker Bee” is right up there with “Attractive Today” from Commit This to Memory and “Cambridge” off of I am the Movie.

The catchiest song off of the album is the single titled Her Words Destroyed My Planet. It sounds like your classic Motion City number. Their video for this song is also their best to date. Check it out here.

From this point, the record takes a sudden dark turn. Disappear was the first song I heard off of this album, and it blew me away. It’s a pure, hard rock song that at points, doesn’t even sound like Motion City. They also released a weird video for it. This song is followed by the equally glum Delirium.

History Lesson is another track that could be mistaken for another band. I can see this song quickly become a fan favorite at their shows. It’s the perfect singalong anthem. The gang vocals at the end of the song really add to the barroom feeling of the track.

Another great track is Pulp Fiction. It feels a lot like a B-side to Commit this to Memory. Pierre does his best Twista impression as he rambles through the lyrics of the song so quickly, which gives it such a great feel. Plus, he delivers one of my favorite lines of the album on this song:

“Like a slasher film, I’m torn in opposite directions. The plot sucks but the killings are gorgeous.”

@!#?@! is the ultimate nerd anthem. The track opens with Pierre singing about The Ocarina of Time. If you don’t get that reference, congratulations, you’re not a nerd. If you did, welcome to my world. The Water Temple sucks, right?

Hysteria is another one of my favorites on this album. This song has a very Lola Ray feeling about it. For anyone who is missing the snyth on this record, a lot of it resides on this track.

Skin and Bones followed by The Weakends combine to create a perfect way to end this album.

Overall, this album is a great listen. I would really recommend picking it up. You can listen to the whole album on their MySpace to see how you feel about it.

Release Date: January 19, 2009

Label: Columbia

WebsiteMyspace

Track Listing:
1. Worker Bee
2. A Lifeless Ordinary (Need a Little Help)
3. Her Words Destroyed My Planet
4. Disappear
5. Delirium
6. History Lesson
7. Stand Too Close
8. Pulp Fiction
9. @!#?@!
10. Hysteria
11. Skin and Bones
12. The Weakends

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 27, 2010 3:27 am

    Good write up man, glad to see you liked History Lesson, a lot of people have been saying this was a bit of a filler song but I reckon it is one of the best!

    • January 27, 2010 12:45 pm

      Yeah, I don’t really understand all the hate for that song. I think it’s a jam.

  2. Simon permalink
    January 27, 2010 6:35 am

    Awesome review, nicely done. I’m up for exchanging links. I’ve just created a blogroll and added you to it. Cheers!

    • January 27, 2010 12:49 pm

      You have been added as well.

      Nice blog. Keep up the good work.

      Glad you like my stuff.

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