Motion City Soundtrack have been one of those bands that have been under the radar on the verge of blowing up big. With the release of "I Am The Movie" they generated a huge fan base and have been on the road supporting that record for awhile. With the release of "Commit This To Memory" the guys decided to team up with Mark Hoppus for production (who now, unfortunately for me, has a lot of time on his hands with the blink-182 hiatus) who will hopefully deliver them to the promiseland of rock stardom.
The album opens with the fast hard rocking, "Attractive Today". This quick opener reminds me of one of my favorites off of I Am The Movie, "Don't Call it a Comeback". The similarities are that they both could be my favorite songs on each cd respectively if they only weren't so short! I love the closing line Justin uses at the end of this song. He sings, "When I just want to feel alive, for the first time in my life. I just want to feel attractive today". Honestly who hasn't had these exact same emotions at some point in their life? The next track, "Everything Is Alright" also is an incredibly catchy tune. It opens with a soft drum, electric guitar and Justin's soothing vocals before it really starts going. Singing of his own personal quirks this song made me smile as I bopped along. "I'm sick of the things I do when I'm nervous, like cleaning the oven or checking my tires. Or counting the number of tiles in the ceiling, head for the hills the kitchen's on fire!" With lyrics like these and an unbelievably addictive chorus this song especially stands out among an overall great album. The next track, "When You're Around" I first heard from the acoustic EP split with Matchbook Romance. This was great for me because that meant I could sing along during my first listen. The production and instrumentation on this song is phenomenal. The keyboard is blazing, the guitars are pronounced, and the vocals are near perfection. This also happens to be a favorite of mine on this album simply for the staggering chorus. Justin sings, "But all I can do, is close my eyes and cross my arms and hope to die because you're not fuckin listening when I'm around. The least you can do, is take it back all the vicious remarks and verbal attacks because I can't fuckin stand it, when you're around." This chorus replayed over and over in my head for days after hearing the trumped up non-acoustic version. "Feel Like Rain" sounds like classic MCS with that special Mark Hoppus twist. It opens with a steady drumbeat before the guitars enter. The verses are tightly packed and offer plenty of those smart guitar hooks. This song also has spectacular vocal and instrumental breakdowns. "Time Turns Fragile" is about reexamining past relationships. Justin sings, "These are the things I think about, when I'm alone without you. I wonder about your whereabouts and hope like hell you're happy where you are". Justin's vocals are once again right on, and this song offers plenty of those much loved keyboard poundings. The next track is by far my favorite on the record. "Lgfuad" begins with an acoustic guitar and Justin's brash vocals open with "Let's get fucked up and die" before it leads serenely into the verse. My favorite line on the entire album happens to take place in a later verse. Justin sings, "Let's get fucked up and die. For the last time with feeling we'll try not to smile as we cover our heads and drink heavily into the nights that's no shock and surprise." The next track, "Better Open the Door" is one of the fastest paced tracks on the album. The guitar work and vocals are once again the highlight of this quick foot tapper. The track "Hangman" has a darker sort of sound to it. This is the namesake of the album. Justin sings, "Commit this to memory, for bright ideas always get lost along the way". The best part of this track happens to be Hoppus lending his vocals. In the bridge Mark's sings in a distorted tone, "I'm just a guy who never tried. I'm just a stupid fuck with brilliant luck and sometimes a bright idea. So shower me in a chorus of compliments and praise I don't deserve I might run but I'll never hide". "Hold Me Down" closes out the record. A romantical MCS balladish song features Justin singing about losing that one serious girl. The slower tempo of this track closes the cd nicely leaving the listener with a complete feeling from start to finish.
Well Motion City Soundtrack have obviously done it again. This time around I don't think they are going to stay under that radar for too long. "Commit this to Memory" picks up right where "I Am the Movie" left us: a magical place where 80ish keyboard pop meshes with intense poppunk rock. Throw in some exceptional vocals and you got yourself one hell of a record. Pick it up today you won't be disappointed.
1. Attractive Today
2. Everything is Alright
3. When You're Around
5. Feel Like Rain
6. Make Out Kids
7. Time Turn Fragile
9. Better Open the Door
10. Together We'll Ring in the New Year
12. Hold Me Down
"Lgfuad", "When You're Around", "Everything Is Alright", "Attractive Today"
By Joe Kominowski