released Jan 19th, 2010

from the album - Her Words Destroyed My Planet

from all music

A leading light in the punk-pop genre, Motion City Soundtrack includes members Joshua Cain (guitar), Tony Thaxton (drums), Justin Pierre (vocals/guitar), Jesse Johnson (Moog), and Matthew Taylor (bass). Following their high-school graduation, Minneapolis natives Pierre and Cain -- both of whom were inspired by Sunny Day Real Estate, Jawbox, the Flaming Lips, and Superchunk -- formed the band in 1999. The pair assembled a temporary lineup and issued a self-released 7" that same year. Later, while touring through Pennsylvania in support of their release, Motion City Soundtrack met Thaxton and Taylor of the Virginia-based band Submerge. The two musicians decided to leave their hometown of Richmond, VA, to join Motion City Soundtrack full-time, and the expanded band soon entered the studio with producer/engineer Ed Rose (the Get Up Kids, Ultimate Facebook). Three weeks before recording commenced, they were also joined by keyboardist Jesse Johnson (whose personal record label, Ordinary Records, had issued some of Jimmy Eat World's earliest material in 1995) to relieve singer/guitarist Pierre of his synthesizer duties.

With a new lineup firmly in place, the band's punk-glazed debut, I Am the Movie, was released in the summer of 2003. While playing venues and basements in support of the album, Motion City Soundtrack was picked up by Epitaph Records; later, they joined blink-182 on a tour through Europe and Japan. Blink's bassist, Mark Hoppus, took a liking to the band and agreed to produce their next album; the resulting Commit This to Memory was released two years later and featured an increasingly pop-heavy sound. A deluxe version of the album (complete with bonus DVD) appeared in 2006, and the band spent the summer on Warped Tour before heading to Europe with OK Go that fall. Entering the studio for the third time, Motion City Soundtrack began to work with producers Adam Schlesinger (of Fountains of Wayne), Eli Janney (of Girls Against Boys), and Ric Ocasek (of the Cars). The completed product, Even If It Kills Me, was released in September 2007.

Even If It Kills Me cracked the Top 20 during its first week, becoming the band's highest-charting album to date. Major labels took notice, and by the following summer, Motion City Soundtrack had signed a new contract with Columbia Records. Eager to capitalize on such momentum, the group quickly wrapped up their Warped Tour obligations, wrote new material during the latter half of 2008, and returned to the recording studio with Mark Hoppus. My Dinosaur Life was completed by June 2009 and released early the following year, with "Disappear" serving as the lead single.

album review from ultimate guitar

This album was written by the five members of Motion City Soundtrack, produced by Mark Hoppus of Blink-182 fame, and mixed by the legendary Andy Wallace. If that isn't enough to describe just how undeniably accessible and fun "My Dinosaur Life" is, then I must continue.

This album seems to find Motion City Soundtrack coming through a difficult time, but with a but sunnier outlook than that of their previous album, "Even If It Kills Me". The opening track, "Worker Bee", is not a typical super-fast sugar rush like the listener may be expecting if they are familiar with this band. It is, comparatively, a mid-tempo track in this context. It still has the quality that makes it perfect to open the gates on a great pop-rock album, and sets the tone for a bumpy yet enjoyable ride.

"Her Words Destroyed My Planet", if I had to wager, will be recognized as a big hit sooner rather than later. If you don't believe me, watch the video. Try not to have flashbacks to the memorable Fall Out Boy video for "Dance, Dance". I dare you.

"Disappear" may be the angriest track this band have ever released, or at least the most frenetic. The vocals sound like a panic attack that somehow managed to find its way to a microphone.

Motion City Soundtrack shines brightly when they lay their hearts on the line. "Stand Too Close" will prove this, if you don't believe me. If you don't wistfully recall some lost love or recover a deep-seated pain from listening to "Skin and Bones", you're a robot, and in the words of William Murderface, robots are NOT to be trusted.

The sound of this album has all of the guitar, synth and drums that you expect from this band. But as a fan, and a musician who started on four strings, I urge the listener to dig deep and appreciate the deftness of Matt Taylor's bass playing. Taylor's developing skill certainly anchors the sound of this album.

Lyrics and Singing: Justin Pierre is a master lyricist not because he paints an abstract and dark canvas of enigmatic poetry. He is a master of his role as main lyric writer for Motion City Soundtrack because he tells his story with brutal honesty, down to every anal-retentive detail of whatever inspires the track in question. Whether it is the disillusioned but hopeful spirit conveyed in the key lines of opening track "Worker Bee" (I've been a good little worker bee / I deserve a gold star"), the pop-culture references that this band have become known for ("Her Words Destroyed My Planet", "Stand Too Close"), or the hilariously and nonchalantly profane "@!#?@!", the lyrics never let up in tone.

My only gripe is that for a guy who claims to be sober and clean, Mr. Pierre seems to have a continuing fixation on drugs, evidenced in "Delirium". It's still a catchy and memorable track, but how many times can one man beat the same dead horse?

Impression: Is there a number higher than 10 that I can choose for this category? Honestly, this is my favorite Motion City Soundtrack album since the beginning of their career. "My Dinosaur Life" has established that not only are this group of outcast musicians and misfit Midwesterners catchy, but they are competent. Motion City Soundtrack has made an album that plays to every strong point of every note or lyric that this quintet have previously put to celluloid or computer. It shoe-gazes without being overly self-aware. It is bouncy, bouyant, and I can safely say it is brilliant.