No Motiv demonstrate considerable musical growth on this their second release for punk label Vagrant Records. This is no small feat as the Southern California outfit's 1999 debut And the Sadness Prevails set a high performance and songwriting standard. When Jeremy Palaszewski (vocals and guitars,) Pat Pedraza (drums,) Max McDonald (guitars,) and Roger Camero (bass) took a break from their relentless touring and raided the studio to record Diagram for Healing, results suggest they were immensely prepared. Using their expanded abilities and experience, the quartet fused a follow-up that easily outshines its predecessor in every respect. Foremost in the list of improvements is No Motiv's catchy and consistent songwriting. From the upbeat emo-core blast of the record's openers "Celebrate" and "Throw in the Towel," to the reflective closer "Born Again," the quartet reveal uncanny compositional instincts and range. Face to Face frontman Trevor Keith once again provides some very articulate production, and the band responds in kind with clear, punchy performances. While the entire group confidently display their road-tightened chops on this sophomore outing, Palaszewski deserves special notice for his squeaky-clean, yet passionate vocals. Heartfelt and intense, Diagram for Healing secures No Motiv's status among pop-punk and emo-core's most formidable artists.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Vincent Jeffries