The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Motion City Soundtrack doesn’t disappoint with ‘The Dinosaur Life’

Genna McCabe | Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I must admit that I have been a longtime Motion City Soundtrack fan. Ever since I heard Justin Pierre crooning about his heartache and quirky obsessions, I was hooked. I have a feeling it’s his extreme honesty that makes him most endearing. From his obsessive compulsive behavior to his touching, though seemingly perpetual, heartache, Motion City Soundtrack can’t be described as anything less than my guilty pleasure. I would rarely admit to enjoying a band so strikingly punk rock. Yet sometimes everyone needs a little bit of angst and heartache. It keeps us all human.

Motion City Soundtrack’s new album “The Dinosaur Life” is no exception to my general affection for the band. If asked, I would likely name “Even If It Kills Me” as my favorite album of theirs, but “The Dinosaur Life” does not disappoint.

Overall, the album delivers exactly what MCS fans will be looking for. There is enough variety to keep the listener interested, with driving melodies and sing-along lyrics. Because they haven’t produced anything particularly unique, I wouldn’t say this album is an accomplishment for the band. Still, as it is their fourth album, MCS can’t be expected to have completely redefined their sound.

Their previous album, “Even If It Kills Me,” was the paramount of a break-up album. It was about love and sadness, the recovery from drug addiction, the end of relationships and the emptiness that comes along with it. “The Dinosaur Life” seems to be a new beginning for the band, a new stage in its life. With songs about triumph and starting over, it appears that their inspiration has come from a better, perhaps happier place this time around.

The album certainly has its highlights and lowlights. The first track starts off with the upbeat, reflective song, “Worker Bee.” Pierre belts out, “It’s been a good year, a good new beginning,” signaling the beginning of a new era for the band. In the following track, “A Lifeless Ordinary,” Pierre sings “I think I can figure it out, but I’m gonna need a little help to get me through it.” Both songs have catchy hooks that will have the listener singing along by the second listen.

The single “Her Words Destroyed My Planet” is, if nothing else, the Motion City Soundtrack that their fans know and love. With their iconic synthesized, punk-pop sound and lyrics detailing yet another account of Pierre’s off-beat life, “Her Words Destroyed My Planet” is a fun listen.

My favorite track from the album is “Stand Too Close.” With a somewhat lighter, more raw feeling than most of the other songs on the album, it shows the pure, smooth nature of Pierre’s singing voice, as well as provides another glimpse into Pierre’s clearly conflicted psyche.

A big part of what makes this band is the honesty and accessibility of their music. Though it is easy to get caught up in the fun, compelling punk-pop sound, it is also nice to listen to the lyrics and appreciate the courage it takes to share such raw stories of heart break, drug addiction and personal awareness. Without the power of Pierre’s lyrics, Motion City Soundtrack would be just another punk-pop band with nothing new to say.

“The Dinosaur Life” is another success for Motion City Soundtrack, capturing the essence and character of the band. It isn’t anything revolutionary, but it will certainly satisfy anyone hungering for another Motion City Soundtrack fix.