Motion City Soundtrack, All American Rejects at El Rey.
If ever there were a band that stood out from the pop-punk sound-alikes, it's Minneapolis' Motion City Soundtrack. Melodic, clean, crunchy and catchy as all hell, the band's Epitaph debut, I Am the Movie, has something for every Warped devotee - and they'll be on that Tour, fer sure. They can be oh so Gen Y (with the teen-comic-romance-ready "The Future Freaks Me Out"), emotive and vulnerable (on "Modern Chemistry"), or stripped down, with pit-igniters like "Boombox Generation" and "Don't Call It a Comeback." But I Am the Movie also signals its departure from the formula via generous helpings of keyboards that zing and whiz with giddy abandon. (And that's saying a lot in a synth-unfriendly genre.) Plus: Unless you want a trip to the principal's office and detention, don't miss All-American Rejects. Fronted by lovelorn Tyson Ritter, these Oklahomans work that Weezer/Fountains of Wayne-style irony, taking a loose, fun approach that's the perfect warmer-upper to Motion City's all-consuming sincerity.