Motion City Soundtrack - I Am The Movie (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Motion City Soundtrack

I Am The Movie (2002)


Once again, I will scream this from the top of my virtual lungs - Motion City Soundtrack is the best unsigned band in America. Period.

Oh, you want me to write more? Fine. Motion City Soundtrack is a quintet of guys from Minneapolis, MN [home of Prince, Bob Dylan, and the Replacements, to name a few - talk about diverse influences!]. This is their debut full length - eleven songs that make me wonder just why the hell they aren't huge yet.

The band's sound is very heavily influenced by bands such as the Get Up Kids ["Four Minute Mile" era], as well as more pop-oriented bands like Weezer, Fountains of Wayne and Superdrag. Now I know you've heard a million bands be described as "Weezer meets the Get Up Kids," but whereas those bands are just shameless ripoffs, Motion City Soundtrack takes those influences and expands upon them.

"I Am The Movie"'s eleven tracks are all filled to the brim with catchy singalong backing vocals ["Shiver" and "1000 Paper Cranes"], dueling guitars ["Boombox Generation" and "The Red Dress"], pounding keyboard riffs ["My Favorite Accident" and "Don't Call It A Comeback"], and more hooks than Dr. J ever sunk [see "The Future Freaks Me Out" for the only proof you'll even need]. The album was recorded by Ed Rose at Red House Studios, where such bands as the aforementioned Get Up Kids have made their magnum opuses. What this means is the production is nothing short of stellar. Ed Rose has been known to step on a few toes here and there [his production on The Beautiful Mistake's newest album, for example], but he seems content to just sit back on this album and let Motion City Soundtrack do what they do best: rock.

Oh yeah, one more thing: the packaging on this thing is fucking ridiculous. The CD comes inside a 5 1/2 inch floppy disc and sleeve. It is so clever and well done that I would recommend this to someone just for the case alone. That's how cool it is.

One can easily make the argument that "this has all been done before." I agree, but the next question you must pose is, "when was the last time it was done this damn good?" This album probably won't make my Top 10 of 2002 list, but I have no qualms saying that it is the best self-released album I have heard the entire year.

The Future Freaks Me Out
Don't Call It A Comeback