It's been three years since Motion City Soundtrack's last release and their return is certainly one filled with happy go lucky warming songs and quirky, yet inspiring lyrics. The tone of the album would not be out of place in an American teen indie film, which exudes the nativity, wonder and struggle of youth; but MCS add the worries of the 30 something trying to adjust to adulthood. As the title takes its name from oceanic warning posts, there's plenty of nautical references to listen out for too.
The laid back pop punk feel makes the album an enjoyable listen from the outset.Anything At All jumps the album into life with varied vocals from Justin Pierre and some frenetic drumming from Claudio Rivera and a kicking bass line from Matthew Taylor. TKOhas the bands distinctive Moog sound utilized by Jesse Johnson, who does a cracking job throughout the album. It's a rhythmic love-song and a KO track. Heavy Bootswill have you nodding in agreement with the sentiment and it's addictive beat. Over It Now is their most angst ridden track here documenting a breakup. It's laden with personal lyrics that also briefly mention Pierre's past problems with addiction and a girlfriend that sold his action figures – what a bitch! The track still has that easy come easy go feel, but it is a victorious F*** you to the past.
The band are great at slower numbers too as demonstrated in I Can Feel You and The Samurai Code.Days Will Run Awayis the most different sounding track on the album with sombre acoustic guitars that really slow down the pace. Midway through through those thumping drums return like a tidal wave. This is the albums coming of age song. It has a sadness to it as the man child finally grows up and moves toward maturity, “why is goodbye always so hard?” There is a real sense of loss here, and there is no happy upbeat ending but paradoxically the track is still delivered with a peppering of the earlier innocence we have heard.
Motion City Soundtrack have really lived up to their name here. The album is cinematic, raw, metropolitan and packed with energy. Don't panic mate, perhaps it's time to cheer up and get those action figures back!