Motion Picture Demise


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There have been odder band names, to be sure, but Motion Picture Demise do at least have something fairly unique for a moniker (one wonders if they prefer their deaths Peckinpah or Tarantino style). The quick Zip.Boom.Hah -- at seven songs, the bandmembers are happy embracers of the philosophy of not wearing out their welcome -- is one of those loud and raucous albums from newer bands that look back a bit to early-'90s fuzz and sprawl while applying it to tight, neo-new wave arrangements, a not bad balance of past and present. Bandleader/keyboardist Travis Tucker is an engaging showoff in the best way, with a swooping preen of a voice that's clearly the sign of someone having fun rather than bewailing his lot, which gives him points for credit right there as the emo fallout continues. That said, the more overt sex songs might suffer a touch from trying-too-hard syndrome, but nobody said playing the game would be easy. Guitarists Alex Ferraro and Alex Howard, meanwhile, keep pulling out unexpected tricks for their performances -- funk riffs one minute, ghosts-of-'80s metal shimmer at another -- to keep listeners a bit more on their toes, while rhythm section Ryan Owenby and Matt Hylton do a fair job at keeping everything moving. Most everything charges ahead as a quick speed party in excelsis (with great, bizarrely catchy lines like "We've got the new disease!"), while there are occasional ballads that are OK but not entirely their strength, at least not yet, though the piano break on "Innocent" is pretty enough. Add it all up and Motion Picture Demise manage the neat trick of suggesting a slew of reference points and similarities, from undeserved obscurities like Nancy Boy to more well-known acts from Duran Duran to the Killers, without ever being pegged as simply a knockoff of same.

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