So, it's not 2005 anymore and the emo-on-the-radio craze is over and most of the bands have found that their music isn't the easiest to grow with--still singing about losing your virginity is really weird if you're 30. The mammoth of the movement was Fall Out Boy and after their hiatus it seemed like radio-emo was finally a thing of the past.
Motion City Soundtrack, grouped in with Panic(!) At The Disco and the like, never really fit the mold and have done their best to grow past their black-hoodie-Hot-Topic phase and My Dinosaur Life
is a really good step. They're two albums now from their nerdy, synth-covered Commit This To Memory
but with the help of Blink-182's Mark Hoppus as producer they're closest to their A-game they've been in a while.
Hoppus manned the helm for the aforementioned Commit This To Memory
and as before, he's pushed Motion City Soundtrack into something new and challenging. They haven't quite reinvented themselves but they've done a really great job of applying pieces of "classic emo" (is there such a thing?) to their sound. They occaisionally channel the grungey sounds of The Promise Ring or even Fugazi, albeit briefly.
The best parts of My Dinosaur Life
are the hardest, not because Motion City Soundtrack is especially talented at chugging, raging hard rock, but because of how sugary they tend to slip when they gravitate to the lighter side of their music.
Tracks like "Her Words Destroyed My Planet", "Disappear", "Delirium", and "The Weakends" shine and have the perfect level of crunch. But on the other side of things tracks like "History Lesson" and "@!#?@!" (yes that's a song title), get really stupid.
My Dinosaur Life
seems like a good beginning, but there seems like such a more interesting world of prehistoric emo they could have explored that they only hint at. It's a wonder if they worried about making the record accessible for new fans, which is a shame because their emo-invasion peers Brand New have made an incredible career out of being as selfish as possible (they sell out almost every tour).
One thing though is clear, if after touring their newest record they feel as though they have another album in them, they're on the right track. My Dinosaur Life
seems to have broken their weird Fountains Of Wayne-inspired music from Even If It Kills Me
and with roots as a bare-bones emo band, a return to form doesn't seem like a bad thing in the least. Maybe it's as simple as a dedication to making songs they actually enjoy, you can certainly tell what tracks they liked this time around. -Ryan Broderick
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MP3:"She Destroyed My Planet" - My Dinosaur Life
Motion City Soundtrack on Myspace