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Motion Theory - Featherhead CD (album) cover


Motion Theory


Crossover Prog

3.00 | 3 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars And here I thought Motion Theory had yet to be added to this site. Apparently they've been included here for months, now, Silly me.

''I Love the Smell of the Universe in the Morning'' starts out with a single electric guitar string being strummed in earnest, soon accompanied by some light piano. This is fine, until the drums come in. Unfortunately, things sound a little off-time, and not intentionally. However, that doesn't last for too long, and soon a killer heavy guitar riff really kicks in and gets things moving. I really like that! I think for the most part, this is a great song, and is a decent length as well without getting boring or overly-frilly. These guys can clearly play, but it's not necessary for them to constantly show off that fact, and they keep their playing parallel with what the actual song requires, and no more. That's a great sense of discipline to have, being able to resist certain virtuoso urges in order to better serve the music.

''Until You Leave''. Ah! Now THIS is some groovy hard rock! This has quickly become a favorite of mine. I particularly enjoy the vocal performance and lead guitar work present, here (especially the absolutely jaw-dropping solo by guitarist Jamie Wesley that hits at around 2:19!). An exceptional song, though not much Prog Rock going on, there. Still, absolutely worth listening to.

''Lucidity'' is clearly one of the proggier tracks on Featherhead. The first minute-and-a-half is one gradual buildup into the main song, where the vocals come in very strongly. At around 1:54, a spacey riff eases in gently and with great style. This is a really cool track! The chorus is a little more modern-day Alt.-Rock than the rest of the song, but the blend of styles is handled quite nicely, here. I really like Dom Main's voice, by the way. It spoke to me instantly. He clearly has a very good grasp of what he is capable of, and will at time go right up to his limit, singing at quite high octaves, but on this particular song, he's more tame. There is a very nice drum and bass outro for this, as well, evidencing both James Kerr and Will Soutter's abilities.

''All I Need'' doesn't really get interesting until about a minute in, when an abstract guitar movement comes in, backing up Main as he reaches for the skies with his higher vocal range. They manage to pull that off very well, the both of them. I suppose that could be looked at as the chorus, because it reoccurs again at 2:20. Another really emotionally-charged guitar lead takes the song to new heights a little after the second chorus, and it then leads into some heavy riffing that blends very nicely into the song's outro. It ends on a much better note than it began. Good tune.

''Big Boys'' has a very strong opening, and stays pretty solid throughout. There is a moment or two of noticeable mic-popping as Main sings, which I definitely think should have been corrected in the studio, but then again, it's hard to catch and not that noticeable. It doesn't really take away from the song, but it just surprised me. Perhaps I'm just mistaking some other element for that, but that's what it sounds like to me, so who knows. Another thing that I think takes away from this song ultimately is that it doesn't really go anywhere despite the enjoyable opening. The playing is solid as always, but it just doesn't seem to have much depth when compared to the other tracks.

''Make Some Noise'' is my least favorite song on the record. The vocals are almost a complete rehash of the stuff he was singing in ''Before You Leave''. The only difference is that the melody is lightly tweaked, but the structure and delivery is so similar, I'm surprised nobody in the band didn't try to make a little more varied. Then again, the playing on the track is just as good and groovy as the rest, but I do feel that is could have been refined a bit more. Mainly in just the vocal melody section.

''Cycles'' is really good. A little more out-of-sync drumming at the start, though, but soon things tighten up and I really enjoy the rushed vocal style during the verses, and the chorus is a very mournful tune that just drips with heartfelt, committed performance on all fronts. One of the stronger tracks on the album for sure.

''Featherhead''. The title track is really Jazzy from the instrumental side of things, thanks to the awesome bass playing and drum rhythms. The vocals here are once again superb, and the guitar playing is more subdued initially, but gradually grows into a more up-front of a role. While I do feel this song sounds the least like the others, and as a result sticks out like a sore thumb, it's clear that it's one of the more intelligently-written tunes, and it's clearly been given a lot of attention by the band. There are long sequences of soft, minimalistic instrumentation accompanied by the lead vocals, but then there are also quicker periods of the song when the distorted guitar leads the charge into more heavy territory. A fairly well-balanced effort. Finally, with a little less than two minutes to go, the two elements combine, with Main singing the chorus overtop of the rest of the band's chugging, stomping force. A nice rocking section helps close the song, and ends this record with an abrupt but effective ending.

This is a decent debut effort with plenty of potential still waiting to be unlocked. I think we will only hear better and better things from Motion Theory in the future, and I for one look forward to that. For now, take this as a nice little appetizer.

JLocke | 3/5 |


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