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Motion City Soundtrack

By: Jessica Grose

Motion City Soundtrack, a radio-ready quintet from Minneapolis, serves up a brand of emo-punk songs that any angsty eloquent seventeen-year-old would adore. The first single, “Everything Is Alright,” is fraught with palpable frustration that one can feel in lead singer Justin Pierre’s slightly nasal voice. Of course in Pierre’s world, nothing is really alright, but thus is the emo star’s plight. The song starts off with a catchy drum hook from drummer Tony Thaxton that almost rips off “My Sharona,” and as Pierre launches into lyrics like “I hate the ocean, theme parks and oceans… I’m through with these pills that make me sit still,” he captures the disaffection of the Ritalin generation.

Even better is “Let’s Get Fucked Up and Die.” Pierre whines plaintively, “If memory serves I’m addicted to words and they’re useless.” On this song, the influence of producer Mark Hoppus — yes, the bass wielding joker of Blink 182 — is most apparent. It reminds me of the majority of songs off Blink 182’s breakthrough album, Enema of the State, and I mean that as a compliment.

I guess in my old age I’ve weakened: I’ve become an honest-to-goodness emo punk lovin’ wimp. Maybe it’s from listening to too much of Weezer’s Blue Album at a formative age. Maybe it’s because I secretly think the guys in Blink 182 are adorable (except for the drummer. Neck tattoos don’t really do it for me). Whatever the reason, Motion City Soundtrack’s new album, Commit This To Memory, hits me right in the heart with its up-tempo, soaring pop songs. MCS makes me want to find a mosh pit and go to town. Commit This To Memory is out now on Epitaph.