I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that most people have certain bands or artists that they resonate with on a personal level. For the past 4-ish years, that band for me has been Motion City Soundtrack. Last week, the band announced an indefinite hiatus. A hiatus which I’m not incredibly optimistic they will come back from.
After having casually heard some of their music and enjoying what I’d heard, I saw Motion City Soundtrack live for the first time in 2012 at the Bamboozle festival. It was amazing and changed my life the way great music sometimes can.
I proceeded to go home, buy every album they’d put out, and fall in love with their entire discography. Even Motion City Soundtrack’s weakest album — which in my eyes is 2012’s Go — still features a lot of lyrics that I relate with and a ton of catchy hooks.
Since that first live experience, I have seen the band two more times in concert. They are tied with Fall Out Boy for most times I’ve seen a band live. Each time has been excellent, almost like a catharsis.
Their music is so smart lyrically and so fun to listen to. Even some of their most depressing songs (LG FUAD, anyone?) have a great beat. There have been many days I have sang some of those songs at the top of my lungs while driving in the car. It’s a lot more therapeutic than drowning my sorrows in something whiny (like Bright Eyes, even though I do love Bright Eyes).
Commit This To Memory, Motion City Soundtrack’s second album, is easily one of my favorite albums of all time. It’s interesting because Justin Pierre, the lead singer and main songwriter, got sober during the writing of that album. Apparently some of the songs were written before he quit drinking and some were written after he stopped. It’s an album full of catchy hooks, but a lot of pain and self-loathing. It’s killer and it has so many beautifully dark songs.
Bummed is a very mild word for how I feel about this indefinite hiatus. I’m happy that we’ll always have the music that these guys have made, but I’m sad that there will likely not be any more of it. I am glad, though, that they decided to throw in the towel rather than continue in a band that no longer made them happy or helped them grow. I’d rather have no new music than uninspired music that is put out just for the money. In some ways I am thankful to bands who do take breaks for those reasons. There’s nothing worse than an unauthentic, “phoned in” album. Motion City Soundtrack’s last album, Panic Stations, seems to be anything but that.
I guess everything is alright, after all.
Also, here’s a video from a really great night of my life: