Motion City Soundtrack, "My Dinosaur Life"

70 Billboard Rating

Minneapolis rock act Motion City Soundtrack offers up a darker shade of pop-punk on its fourth album and major-label debut, "My Dinosaur Life." On the set, produced by Blink-182's Mark Hoppus (who first worked with the group on its 2005 album, "Commit This to Memory"), Motion City Soundtrack tones down its perky synths in favor of heavier guitars, while still maintaining the earnest vocals for which it's become known. Over pulsating guitar on the track "A Lifeless Ordinary (Need a Little Help)," singer/guitarist Justin Pierre laments, "I didn't think I would make it/ Thought everybody was against me/All those conquered eyes and Christmases alone." Pierre's voice strains over a mix of eerie and rollicking punk riffs on the single "Disappear," and the band's familiar sardonic lyrics are featured most notably on the foul-mouthed romp "@!#?@!." Motion City Soundtrack's smart-aleck tendencies combine nicely with a harder sound on "My Dinosaur Life," pushing the band back to its roots with enough twist to propel it in a new direction.

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