Review: Motion City Soundtrack – My Dinosaur Life

Artist: Motion City Soundtrack
Album: My Dinosaur Life
Genre: Pop Rock
Label: Columbia

Motion City Soundtrack have made quite a name for themselves over their previous three full length releases. They burst onto the scene with the energetic and anthemic I Am The Movie, talked a lot about life and love on Commit This To Memory, and dealt with moving on throughout Even If It Kills Me.Now, the group grows up, detoxes, and continues their pop rock stylings with the mature, yet youthful My Dinosaur Life.

Starting off on a throwback rock twist on “Worker Bee,” the group quickly shows a much more angst-laden side than what we saw on Even If It Kills Me. This only continues on the first real ear catching track, “A Lifeless Ordinary.” Now the track itself isn’t too complicated, but the hook is simply enthralling and will surely be a live staple in the near future. If you liked, “This is For Real,” you’ll love this.

Moving on, the single “Her Words Destroyed My World,” aka, the best song on the record, arrives to remind us all of just how great MCS can be. The lyrics seem to encompass nearly ever post break-up emotion ever conceived while working through it [which, by the way, is a re-occuring theme on the record]. Follow this up with the intoxicating and driving sound of “Disappear” and you have a great one-two punch that really helps carry you into the latter part of the record.

As the record moves on, it becomes clear that Justin Pierre has matured quite a bit over the years. Through growing up quitting drugs, falling in love, breaking up, moving on, and signing to a major label, he [and likewise, the band] have all matured and it’s really reflected strongly on the album’s back half.

“Stand Too Close” croons with the some of Pierre’s catchiest wordplay to date, while keeping the chord progression feeling young and loose. In fact, it’s that live/loose feeling that helps to remind us that much of what we’re hearing is MCS. “Skin and Bones,” for instance, has a heavy alternative rock feel to it, but it’s the pop-laden nature in which MCS writes that will keep fans devoted. The band has found a way, though not always successful [“@!#?@!” and “Pulp Fiction” for instance], allows for them to experiment sonically while maintaining a core following and it’s all thanks to sharp tongue of Justin Pierre.

To me, My Dinosaur Life isn’t as much a collection of sounds displaying how Motion City Soundtrack has grown over the years, but rather a blueprint for what is to come. For a band that’s always had a fairly familiar sound, My Dinosaur Life finds the act growing and expanding more sonically while refining the lyrical side of things. The results don’t always come across as well as one could hope, but those that do truly shine.

Score: 6.5/10

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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