Album Review: Motion City Soundtrack - Go

11 June 2012 | 1:53 pm | Danielle O'Donohue

Now that they’ve wrapped the lyrics in music that takes a bit of unlocking the really great moments feel even more like hidden gems.

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Dubbed 'Scrabble rock' by the band themselves, Motion City Soundtrack's brand of pop-punk takes less from the Blink 182s and Green Days of the world and more from the spiky keyboards of The Get Up Kids.

With Justin Pierre's complex, heart-on-sleeve lyrics leading the charge (hence the Scrabble rock), Go is much of the same from the Minnesotans. But it's a grown-up MCS this time around and as a result these songs aren't quite as immediate and sugary as some of their previous singles.

Instead there are darker undertones and a pervasive angst at play. And though these songs may take longer to seep into your consciousness, seep they shall. Infectious melodies are a MCS trademark almost as much as the tongue-twister lyrics and while they've toned down the sugary, they certainly haven't given it up entirely.

As for Pierre's lyrics, there aren't too many songwriters who would confidently name-check Jonathan Safran Foer and Star Trek's Captain Picard in the same sentence. Even in their darker moments MCS have always had a lyrical dexterity that is playful and often thrilling. Now that they've wrapped the lyrics in music that takes a bit of unlocking the really great moments feel even more like hidden gems.

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Though pop-punk is a genre rooted in teen angst and all that is associated with – young love, first heartbreak, moving out of your parents' basement – bands like MCS that have managed to grow up both emotionally and musically push the genre well past those first few adult years and Go proves that pop-punk is just as capable of soundtracking the confusion and uncertainty of life once you've left your 20s behind.