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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Review: The Motion Sick - The Truth Will Catch You, Just Wait...


The Motion Sick - The Truth Will Catch You, Just Wait...
2008, Naked Ear Records


Boston quartet The Motion Sick bring a prose-based lyrical style wed to archetypal melodies and harmonies that embed themselves in your aural tract for a good, long stay. The sophomore album, The Truth Will Catch You, Just Wait... takes inspiration from the television series Twin Peaks and its endless cycle of delaying the inevitable. With wit and a visceral go-for-the-throat tenacity in their lyrics, The Motion Sick are often compared to Kurt Vonnegut, but Mark Twain might be a better comparison; The Motion Sick have a bit of the Nick Cave relentless intensity about them as well.

The Truth Will Catch You, Just Wait… opens with Jean-Paul, a messy little alt-rocker full of a minimalist rock rhythm section overlaid with jangly guitar in the chorus. The song has a moderately driving, relentless quality to it that builds through each verse into the chorus. 30 Lives is a true Silly Little Love Song in the Beatles fashion. Even the melody evokes that era of uncomplicated Rock N Roll love songs. This song will haunt your brain for days after you hear it, and is cute as a devotional. Walk On Water is virally catchy. Your feet will tap, your head will bounce – it will just happen, you won’t be able to help yourself. This is another song that will run through your head of its own volition once you’ve heard it. We see a softer side to The Motion Sick on Losing Altitude; more of a typical shoe gazer than anything else. The song is pleasant but gets a little stuck on the premise, repeating “I’m losing” until you want to forward to the next track.

The Owls Are Not What They Seem is surreal, both musically and lyrically. The arrangement is built in minor keys in the verse resolving into a dark yet peppy chorus. Think Weezer or some of Barenaked Ladies darker material here. Tiny Dog (Nobody Cries) is a song full of angst that is balanced by a swaying quality that generally goes with “feel good” tunes. The juxtaposition is almost comical, and lead singer Mike Epstein seriously reminds me here of Roger Clyne (The Refreshments, Roger Clyne And The Peacemakers). Some Lonely Day is an intriguing mid-tempo rocker with some wonderful internal instrumentation going on (particularly the frenetic bass line). The album closes out with Love Will Tear Us Apart and a dance mix of 30 Lives.

The Motion Sick are post-modern rock, pulling in elements of Alternative and some of the post-grunge neo-garage sound of the early-to-mid 1990’s and a quirky perspective that fits in with the Weezers and BNLs. The Truth Will Catch You, Just Wait… is a good, honest effort that deserves your attention. The material here won’t grab you and shake your foundations, but like still waters there’s a lot going on underneath for those who will listen.

Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about The Motion Sick at http://www.themotionsick.com/ or www.myspace.com/themotionsick. You can purchase a copy of The Truth Will Catch You, Just Wait… at www.cdbaby.com/cd/motionsick2.

1 comment:

Michael Epstein said...

Thanks for reviewing this.