The only obvious sonic gamble here is the diminishment of the band's telltale keyboards, that I imagine Andy Wallace, in all his infinite wisdom, buried deep into the mix to emphasize the more abrasive undercurrent that's been the foundation for most of their music, and nowhere is that more evident than on "Disappear." On their darkest album cut to date, the overarching theme of this rapid-fire salvo of oblique and disparate imagery will be somewhat lost on even the most dedicated of Pierre's minions. (The lack of booklet lyrics couldn't have been timed more poorly I might add). Thing is, "Disappear" is such a conniption to listen to, all the conjecture might just be worth it. The band charts a more linear course on the melody-friendly flow winding it's way through trademark Pierre confessionals like "Worker Bee" and "Her Words Destroyed My Planet." The fun really hits full-throttle mid-album on "Delirium," a tale of being tethered (or so it would seem) to a hospital bed in a mental health facility (or so it would also seem) where the patient is unable to differentiate if his meds or his surreal environment is responsible for said "delirium." In similar fashion, "Hysteria" also propels through the stratosphere like a searing firecracker, although the motif here is a little less psychotropic. It also happens to be the most keyboard-prominent cut on the disk. And yes, there's a ballad (of sorts) here, "Stand Too Close," but nowhere near as despondent as their last album's piano tearjerker, "The Conversation."
My Dinosaur Life is classic, utterly fun and off-the rails Motion City Soundtrack, and a more than logical successor to Even if it Kills Me. The latter part of that summation is bound to either delight or unnerve fans, that is, if Even if... was really viewed as that drastic of a departure (which in my opinion it wasn't). If twelve new MCS songs aren't enough to satiate your appetite, relax, because there's a very tricked out deluxe version of Dinosaur (pictured to your left) that you're about $60 in reach of, featuring the entire album laid out across six picture disk 7"s, all tucked away in an elaborate hard bound book. It also comes equipped with two CDs (one the album proper, the other an ep's worth of alternate takes and a bonus cut), and a signed lyric booklet.
Given the widespread availability of My Dinosaur Life, I am not at liberty to share any album content, per se, so I have assembled a brief three song selection of live versions of "Disappear," "A Lifeless Ordinary," and "Her Words Destroyed My Planet." These recordings are culled from a trio of December 2009 hometown concerts, where each gig was dedicated to one of their three previous Epitaph Records albums. If you need more convincing, Myspace is merely a click away. Finally, a word from our fine sponsor: