Music Reviews

The Movielife

Forty Hour Train Back To Penn

Drive Thru

Forty Hour Train Back to Penn is probably my favorite record this spring. It has been a staple in my CD player, and it’s been hard to get it out of there. This is 100% the dirty “e” word, but I honestly don’t care; this thing rocks so hard that I can’t even detect the chessiness that probably coats the entire disc.

Oh, new Movielife CD, let me count the ways that I love thee. First, your tremendous, low-end guitars provide one of the heaviest bottom ends that I’ve ever heard come from the Drive-Thru label. They are so low and powerful that I am reminded of Shiner, former kings of bassy guitar shenanigans. Listening to Forty Hour• in my car at high volumes gives me a chest massage, for the bass is so tremendous that it causes everything to shudder. Sweet!

Second, thou art shaping thyne songs similar to the ways of the late Jawbreaker, which can never be a bad thing. The majority of the songs have the same aggressive, forward marching power of Jawbreaker’s pre-_Dear You_ stuff. I am also reminded of The Get Up Kids’ Four Minute Mile when I listen to this; let us all hope that you never decide to make a record like On a Wire.

Next, I must profess a dear love of the bass guitars. They are so warm and inviting, kind of like a visit to grandma’s house. They have an overdriven ring to them that is so clear and crisp that it makes me giddy with excitement.

Dear lead singer, your voice is exceptionally whiney, but there’s a certain quality that makes me look past its apparently annoying effects. The fact that you can sing and scream well makes up for the whiney, four-year-old-upset-boy-mannerisms in your delivery.

It’s hard to pick a favorite individual song, but the first four on the album are probably the best. The album’s opener, “Face or Kneecaps,” is totally Jawbreaker and rocks so freakin’ hard. The verse has this weird guitar syncopation that instantly begs for booty shaking and freaking out in general. The chorus on this one sets the tone for what is an album of hummable and sing-songy parts that will be hard to get out of your head. “Jamestown” finds the band rocking at full force, but in a more SamIam kind of way. This track has lots of weird muted guitar scrapings and features another of the band’s signature choruses. This is probably one of the punchiest/angular songs on the record, and is probably my overall favorite. “Spanaway,” sounds very much like Seaweed (who had a record called Spanaway!). “Spanaway” is a slower, plodding song that really highlights just how low and powerful The Movielife’s guitars are. Sweet song. “Kelly Song” sounds like an instant radio hit, and I’ll be surprised if I don’t hear it on one of the local college radio stations. It sounds like a snotty Jimmy Eat World. Pretty solid track, as well. “It’s Something” is an up-tempo rocker that has the greatest chorus in the history of the world, with a really cool vocal line (I won’t spoil it with my crappy description skills; trust me, it’s sweet). The rest of the album follows similar suit.

As I said before, this has been one of my favorite records for a couple of weeks now, and I haven’t gotten tired of it yet. I’m sure the kids who buy everything from Drive-Thru already own this, but those of you who don’t, oh baby, are you in for a treat! The Movielife is about a trillion times better than Taking Back Sunday, Finch or New Found Glory, and that’s no exaggeration. Absolutely fantastic album!

Drive Thru Records:

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