Some influential punk albums are a conscious attempt to break boundaries and create art out of the idiom; for example, The Shape of Punk to Come. Some are the result of a band doing precisely what they please and the result being influential; for example, Milo Goes to College, or Damaged. Whilst The Motive for Movement has not influenced masses of bands, if they did it would fall into the latter category.
This is the kind of pretentious, reverential, bullshit-esque opening paragraph we at the Org usually reserve for the aforementioned albums and their peers on the punk pantheon. So why am I using it for a late review of a small, Hellcat signed hardcore band who in the past gathered an unhealthy amount of Rancid comparisons? Because I fully expect this record to eventually join those albums on that pantheon, and to influence masses of bands.
Now, enough about the fucking pantheon. This is an incredible album and you can hear that from the first chords of the icy, mid-tempo, post-punk-by-way-of-metal opener, "Faces." I first heard this song on the Hellcat website, as I was reading some words spoken by an unnamed member of the band about their vision, and influences. I would have laughed at the writing had not the song blown me away. A perfect mix of punk aggression, creative music, tight delivery and political lyrics, the song instantly hooked me, and I listened to it intensely until the school blocked the site. After that, I bought the record.
The record is not perfect. For example, "Faces" is followed by a couple of blasts of everyday hardcore, and maybe one or two songs are merely “okay.” I wasn’t listening to it much until I got hooked on two songs: "Terminus Mos Advenio," chilling, warp speed thrash punk which rides a shredding metallic lick, and "Ambivalence," which jumps between Rancid-style punk’n’roll and sharp, Gang of Four-like punk-funk. These two immersed me in the record easily: the choruses are excellent for both, and the two share the political edge that had excited me when I first heard "Faces."
Not that I could have missed that--the record protests against violence, war, materialism, prejudice and stupidity. The title expresses the band’s intention to create a movement against those things, particularly where they happen in the punk scene. All the usual sort of subjects, you might say, but frontman Eric Ubach and company are smarter than your average punks (which is to say, pretty fucking smart) despite their young age, and delivering the message is much more effective when you have such great music to bark it over. The track "Suburban Life" demonstrates this well. The lyrics, which tackle materialism and class, are supported by three chord punk, metal shredding, atmospheric, minimal high end picking, and a brutal, dual-guitar hook.
This album is among the most underrated ever, drawing more comparisons with GBH than great write ups. I hope I have been able to provide a half-decent one and I hope it makes you buy it.
My last word is: despite what the con-punks and apolitical punks who turn up on the Internet to bitch about Anti-Flag and NOFX’s (once) new political direction say, punk always needs a few fresh, right-on bands who stand against materialism, war and injustice. Static Thought fits the bill perfectly, and does so much more than others, so when Ubach proclaims at the end of (epic) closer "Conquest of Saints," “This is our future / This is our stage / We will stand tall until the end of an age," I truly hope they do.