Motion City Soundtrack / Schatzi - split CD (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Motion City Soundtrack / Schatzi

split CD (2003)


I love Motion City Soundtrack. If you've been even a semi-frequent visitor to this site in the past 6 months or so, you've easily figured this out. So when they announced they were doing a split CD with another band that is in my "good" column, Schatzi, I got rather excited.

Then I got said split CD, and experienced a rather rude awakening.

Allow me to explain. First up on the CD are the Minneapolis/Richmond quintet who recently signed to Epitaph, Motion City Soundtrack. And here's where I sound like a scenester, so be warned. The three songs the band contributes ["Throw Down," "Capital H," and "Back To The Beat"] are all re-recorded from the band's 2000 Back To The Beat EP, and they lose a lot of their energy in these new recordings. The band's unique blend of 80s indie rock, mid-nineties emo, and timeless MOOG-pop sounds a bit stale on these songs. I know it's not the songs, because the EP these songs were originally on still sounds fresh and unique. The band just sounds a bit winded on these tracks, and the recording is almost too clean for any sort of enjoyment. The band's retooling of "Back To The Beat" is a noble effort, but it's ending drags on for much too long. A lackluster effort from a band that I know can do better.

The second band on the EP, Austin-via-Oklahoma City natives Schatzi, fare slightly better with their three tracks. "Coreopsis" is a brooding number [for this band, at least], that kicks into a 1-2-fuck-you punk rock beat out of nowhere. It's fresh, and it rocks. "Arithmetic's Collapse" is a rocking crunchy guitar number, reminiscent of Guided By Voices or Superdrag. So far, the band is 2-for-2.

Then they bust out a damn Journey cover.

Okay, this is a memo to all bands - NO MORE JOURNEY COVERS. In the past 3 months, I've gotten three CDs [this one, the new Rise Against, and the new Young And The Useless] that all contain covers of Journey's "Any Way You Want It." The cover's alright, but man, I am so sick of hearing this song, it just puts me into a rage every time it comes on. I just want to kick a dog or something.

Okay, maybe I don't get that enraged, but seriously, no more Journey covers.

So my opinions on both of these bands changed after this CD. Motion City Soundtrack's stock dropped a few points, whereas Schatzi definitely climbed up my heavy-rotation ladder. Hopefully MCS can dig out of this slump with their upcoming I Am The Movie re-release, and hopefully Schatzi can ride this high through their next album, due out on Hollywood Records later this year.