Whether it's a buzzword or a cuss word is merely a matter of opinion; what is an incontrovertable FACT is that emo has officially blown up. Chris Carraba's pompadour is damn near inescapable, groups like Brand New are charting in the higher reaches of rock radio playlists, and it seems like every day a new batch of little league t-shirted midwesterners with silly sideburns are primed to conquer the world with songs about girlfriends.
It'd be easy to lump Motion City Soundtrack along with their bespectacled peers - Get Up Kids producer Ed Rose mans the boards for this release, and they have an eerily similar guitar/moog/singy-screamy vocalist thing going. Yet I Am The Movie is a more-than-solid release. With each listen, the bands unique twists on the genre reveal themselves, and prove quite satisfying for the listener. From the propulsively catchy "The Future Freaks Me Out" (one of my favorite singles of 2003) to "My Favorite Accident" (whose video is included on the enhanced CD), each track transcends their relatively commonplace foundations. Even when the songs start to sound a little too familar as the album goes on, Joshua Cain and Justin Pierre throw in enough clever riffs to save I Am The Movie from homogenity.
Even if the "emo explosion" proves shortlived, Motion City Soundtrack's impressive debut suggests they'll be around even if the hype subsides. Do yourself a favor and discover your very own "next big thing."