The Minneapolis based quintet, known as Motion City Soundtrack (or MCS for short), have unleashed their new album, Even If It Kills Me and its filled with witty lyrics, bouncing bass, and of course all the moog sounds your brain desires. The band headed to New York City in the early part of this year to write and record their third studio album for Epitaph Records.
Opening the album is the fast paced “Fell In Love Without You” and it certainly feels like your listening to a Motion City Soundtrack song with the fast guitars and moog hitting your ears almost instantly. Justin’s voice feels clean and focused while the drums beat fast and the nerd rock guitars belt out a crazy belch of goodness. “This Is For Real” continues things with a bouncing bass and drum intro followed by something I would only expect to hear out of Justin’s mouth “I’ve got emotion drippin out my pores”. “This Is For Real” carries that classic MCS sound with lyrics you’ll be singing along to in no time. “It Had To Be You” brings in a bit of a new sound with a mixture of piano and some wonderful “Woo Ooo’s” which fit right into this songs great melody. A slower intro on “Last Night” is calming and also includes some more piano bits. I feel like this song is a story and Justin is sitting next to me reading it, is that crazy or wicked cool that it could make me feel this way?
Upon first hearing “Calling All Cops” I didn’t know what to think of the song. Justin’s voice seems to stay in one key throughout the entire song and its a bit slower then the average MCS tune. Listening to this song more is the cure to not liking it at first, the moog parts are catchy, the bass is bouncing and the melody is soothing yet uplifting. This song even includes strings at certain parts, and I have to say it sounds amazing. On “The Conversation” Justin dives into his heart and pulls out a soft sad story wrapped in emotion. This slow song is a first for MCS, no guitars, bass, drums, or moog, just Justin and a piano.
“Broken Heart” brings things back up to speed with the line “I’ll start this broken heart, I’ll fix it up so it will work again, better then before” followed by a catchy drum line and raging guitars and bass. “Hello Helicopter” is another slower song incorporating a mix of acoustic guitar and strings wrapped in a soft yet upbeat package. You’ll find yourself singing along to this song no time, I just have to wonder how it would go down in a live show.
“Point Of Extinction” is a song I expect to see Justin doing his jittery robot moves too. Its quirky guitar parts and body moving abilities make this song feel like a classic upbeat MCS tune. “Antonia” is filled with more lyrics about a girl then one might desire to hear in a three minuet span. However the way they are put together is rather unique and pleasant, you feel like you know this girl by time the song is done. Wrapping up the album is the title track “Even If It Kills Me.” Its soft guitar intro is complimented by a beat box effect before the rest of the band chimes in. You can feel a difference in Justin’s voice on this song, its clean, confident and better then I think I’ve ever heard it. The moog, bouncy bass, beat box, soft guitar and everything else in this song play so well with Justin’s voice this song became my favorite on the album. There is no way you can listen to this track and not belt out the lyrics, tap your foot, and possibly just get up and play some air guitar all at the same time.
If you listen to this album once through and feel like MCS has changed, well then you are right. The guys are fine tuning their sound, style, lyrics, and even their voices for this release. I found myself falling in love with it a bit more every time I listened.
1. Fell In Love Without You
2. This Is For Real
3. It Had To Be You
4. Last Night
5. Calling All Cops
6. Can’t Finish What You Started
7. The Conversation
8. Broken Heart
9. Hello Helicopter
10. Where I Belong
11. Point Of Extinction
13. Even If It Kills Me