A Stranger reviews music: My Dinosaur Life by MCS

A Stranger Presents...

Pretty eye catching isn't it

My Dinosaur Life

by Motion City Soundtrack

Hello there, it's me again. Another lost cause typing his opinions into the rubbish tip known as the internet in the vain hope that someone will read it. This particular lost cause will now continue to preach his views on music, in a gaming infested forum... Enjoy!

Motion City Soundtracks are a criminally unheard of American band that came into being in 1997. They didn't release their first proper album until 2003 and have since gone on to make three more, My Dinosaur Life is the most recent of these and was released on the 15th of January 2010.

What type of music do Motion City Soundtrack (who will now be abbreviated to MCS for everyones' convenience) actually play? Well I could group them into the mess that is Indie but I'll go into it a bit further. Their music incorporates voice, guitars and drums along with keyboards and synthesisers to create (mostly) upbeat songs. I said "criminally unheard of" before because they really are quite brilliant and deserve a lot more attention than, let's say Owl City. I first heard of them thanks to Burnout 3 and it's fantastic choice of music. It featured My Favourite Accident, a very catchy and fast paced song that was perfect for the game and absolutely perfect for me so I went out and bought it. To this day I have been an avid MCS fan.

So what about this album? Well the MCS I know and love have gone and changed on me. The bastards. Overall this album is a lot heavier than the previous ones. The keyboards and synthesisers have almost disappeared from site (I count 3 out of 10 songs that include them), leaving the guitar as the loudest instrument. While I can see that many would welcome this change I have to disagree, the bleeping noises in the background are what made MCS special to me, it made them stand out from the crowd; as well as being an integral part of all their previous songs. This obviously had a large effect on my first impressions and made me initially dismiss this album as sounding like it could be from any old band. And then it went and pulled me back in with it's clever melodies, ingenious lyrics and catchy chorus'. The bastards.

Here's the little thing about MCS, they do love their pop-culture references; such as "at 5 to 9 I beat the Ocharina of Time" and they've even included an analysis of Pulp Ficion in the form of a song, and the song is pretty damn good

...The killings are gorgeous indeed. MCS's clever lyrics are very nice to listen to without sounding like they're trying to preach at you (See: Enter Shikari). In their songs they like to tell a story, these stories used to be more about the singer's personal life but are now more general, while keeping the very 'intimate' tone. An example would be that "Let's get fucked up and die" is replaced by things like "I can disappear any time I want to".

However, despite all these changes MCS retain some links to their past. Pulp Fiction, as seen above, is more typical of their earlier stuff while something like Worker Bee, the first song on the album is completely different (it also includes the line "It's been a good year, a good new beginning, I'm through with the old school so let's commence this winning) as it follows a more conventional approach to this type of music.

Conventional? Did I hear you say conventional? Yes you did, 10 Interwebz to you. I mentioned before that MCS have dropped their old style for something new but I didn't specify quite what. To be honest they seem to just be any other indie band now. They hardly have any style to define them, especially compared to what they used to have. It's now mostly heavy guitars, shouty vocals and the standard verse-chorus structure. This may be something to do with them being taken under the wing of Columbus, who may have forced them to be more mainstream in the hope of attracting more sales. But while this is the case they do do it very well, they may not have the pezaz that first attracted me to them like a moth to a bright neon light but they are still a pleasure to listen to.

The variation on this album is another thing worthy of mention, all of the songs are noticeably different and not just for their various use of synthesisers. Some take a very in your face style while others are quite relaxing and downbeat. If I were to pick out some songs I'd pick out Disappear as it is frantic as well as being really catchy and also Weakends for being the complete opposite, it's a lot slower but some how still manages to get in some heavy guitar.

I strongly reckomend that you buy this album if you enjoy any type of rock music because it really is rather good. However it is nothing compared to their old stuff (As with most bands) so if you are willing to dish out money/ pirate then you should go with Commit This To Memory, their second album. As that one really is fantastic.


Feedback would be great, cheers.

Bloc Party
Cajun Dance Party

I've done other reviews but they're lost in the maelstrom of this forum. Please don't comment on my old reviews, PM me instead.


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