No Motiv - Lola (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

No Motiv

Lola (2003)


Teaser EPs are a common necessity for many labels that need to hype some band who already has an upcoming album that everyone is already looking forward to. They're not bad ideas either - sell a few previews of the new disc and perhaps buy a couple new fans in return. My only gripes with teaser EPs are the fact that many times, these EPs come out just a month before the album anyway, especially as of late (see: Rufio - s/t, NoFx - Regaining Unconsciousness). I understand the fact the EPs are just a marketing tool used by the label, but we're going to be hearing the new batch of songs soon enough anyway. However, the labor of the upcoming No Motiv (say it like "motive") full length has only just entered its third trimester. Several months is a reasonable amount of time to savor the miniature dosage of tunes for the time being.

One of the most underrated bands on the scene today (the lack of a review on the EP's release date only validates this point), No Motiv has been playing good honest emo rock for a good eight years now. Their departure with Edge Recordz also found them leaving their stripped-down, emo-tinged, by-the-numbers skate punk for a more mature, relatively more downtempo, but also full sound with Vagrant Records. Trevor Keith's production work helped metamorphose the band into what they are now.

What they are now leads me to a confused state that questions why they haven't yet jumped to a major. Whether the majors haven't come calling or No Motiv just isn't interested (the latter reason would befuddle me considering they left Edge for Vagrant), to me, either reason bypasses logic at all costs.

Lola finds No Motiv picking up where they left off - in a way. The sound seems to comprise a more-than-solid hybrid of ...And the Sadness Prevails and Diagram for Healing, and this time around they've added some cool riffs to boot. "Grey Notes Fall," set to appear on the upcoming Daylight Breaking, is an amazing reminder why they are so good, with the vocals, perfectly raw, kicking in the intro. The catchy "tell me" line has plenty of band members making their contribution with either their version of said line or of course filling the potential hollowness with a solid core of melodic-yet-grinding power chords to keep the pace going.

An acoustic guitar helps bring in the closer (demo version), ironically titled "Keep it Going," with the six-stringed silhouette acting as a backdrop for the entire song as patience does prevail with the electric version of the aforementioned kicking in soon enough, giving it the fullness it conveys throughout.

The timeline of No Motiv's career has included a change in sound that resembles the change in seasons. And when the autumn comes, there will also be a season of change when this group should finally receive the recognition they deserve.