Release Date: Sep 18, 2015
Record label: Epitaph
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Punk Revival, Punk-Pop
Revered pop-punks Motion City Soundtrack have made a powerful return with their latest full-length, Panic Stations. Loaded from front to back with memorable moments and irresistible hooks, it's a well-written 12-song set. The band's ability to balance bouncy uptempo numbers like opener "Anything at All" with more measured, deliberate tracks like "TKO" and "Lose Control" keeps the overall package varied and engaging.
It seems redundant, if not painfully obvious, to label any Motion City Soundtrack record a breakup record. These were the guys, remember, who essentially introduced themselves to the world by singing, “I got the message long before you said you knew / There was no chance of us at all.” It’s like calling Brand New records hopeless. Or John Mayer records romantic.
As the distorted answer to 2012’s clean-guitar- filled Go, Panic Stations is Motion City Soundtrack’s most straightforward release, swapping the band’s trademark lyrical and sonic quirkiness with polished production and simple songwriting. “TKO” is a synth-heavy callback to the band’s earlier singles with infectious “whoas” thrown about. “Over It Now” is the total package for a power-pop mega-single, showcasing Justin Pierre’s return to form with notoriously specific, yet relatable lyrics (“I always hated those techno songs you put on my compilations”).