The Motorcycle Industry - Electric Education (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Motorcycle Industry

Electric Education (2008)


The Motorcycle Industry's Electric Education is a goofily upbeat disc, full of acoustic-fronted full-band power-pop sing-alongs that somehow (musically) imagines older Say Anything repeatedly covering "Holland, 1945" in a meek fashion. Well...sort of. Then again, there's also a wacky, quasi-folk tilt to Electric Education that urges me to draw Fake Problems comparisons, but these dudes' opinion of that band, if any, likely borders on moderate appreciation.

In any event, Electric Education is a pretty quirky, fun album, if you don't mind that sort of bizarrely honest, non sequitur narration. Shit, the very first line of the very first song ("Lesson One") finds John Langan declaring "I've got an overdue library book in the trunk, / and your dad still thinks I'm gay." A bitter party-leaving diatribe comes in the form of "Jesse"; "Five dollars for a whiskey. / Please don't ignore me when we get to class on Monday. / Okay? Thanks." As you might guess, Langan's weird, nerdy and anxious though honest personality is definitely the driving factor throughout Education's 33-minute course.

What probably adds to the carefree and idiosyncratic nature of the whole thing is Langan's bubbly voice. Not that he necessarily sounds like Travis Shettel (Piebald), but think someone like that (maybe Bemis himself?) and you have a good handle on his delivery. When there's a little more restraint in things, it actually provides a good refresher -- see "We Can't All Be from Long Island" and "Split and Divide."

There's a pretty solid lockdown and focus on Electric Education, and while it could definitely be way more powerful, this isn't at all a bad start.

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Electric Education