September 24, 2007 - Epitaph
Motion City Soundtrack have always burned brighter than most of their counterparts because their brand of pop has a distinct brashness that’s both fearless and hook-laden. Curiously enough, the band’s third album, Even If It Kills Me, was recorded with the aid of three producers: The team of Adam Schlesinger (Fountains Of Wayne) and Eli Janney (Girls Against Boys), plus Ric Ocasek. Listening to it, you certainly couldn’t tell the difference. There’s some cause for celebrating: Justin Pierre’s slice-of-life confessionals are engaging; Jesse Johnson’s synth is high in the mix; and “Calling All Cops,” “This Is For Real” and “Fell In Love Without You” are destined to be staples in the MCS canon. But considering the scope of the band’s personal listening habits, much of the disc is business as usual. There’s no denying that at this point in their career, MCS are better than their influences (Weezer) and mentors (Blink-182). What’s frustrating is they aren’t as good as the band who recorded Commit This To Memory.