Motion City Soundtrack are a band that have a lot to live up to. Each of their records have carried the ability to inspire or become a favourite, and they’re also rightly held up as some of the very best Pop Punk albums. They’re just one of those bands who can seemingly do no wrong.

So what’s the verdict on their fifth studio album ‘Go’? In short… it’s good! Despite the fact that the sense of urgency found on their previous efforts is absent, the album still has its intense moments – notably in ‘Timelines’, the incredible ‘True Romance’ and the Jimmy Eat World like ‘Bottom Feeder’. Everything else sounds like a band trying to employ a more matured sound. There’s also a great sense of experimentation intertwined throughout ‘Go’ – the strings used on ‘Everyone Will Die’ are used to good effect and provide an atmospheric setting to one of Motion City Soundtracks more “depressing” songs, and ‘The Coma Kid’ is very Third Eye Blind-esque and is brimming with all the potential to be your new favourite Motion City Soundtrack song.

Further into the album, the pace is turned up considerably with ‘The Worst is Yet To Come’ and ‘Floating Down the River’ keeping the listener interested, while album closer ‘Alcohol Eyes’ provides the suitably high energy closer that the album needs.

There are criticisms to be had with ‘Go’ – it is a bit too long and could easily be 2-3 songs shorter without really compromising on the quality. Some songs do underwhelm (‘Happy Anniversary’), and it just feels as if there’s a bit of filler that doesn’t need to be there.

Overall, ‘Go’ isn’t Motion City Soundtrack’s best, but that shouldn’t be a testament on the quality of the album at all. It’s more a testament to just how good their back catalogue is. What is clear, however, is that ‘Go’ is a good album that sees the band try new things and largely do it very well. It probably won’t become an instant favourite with many MCS fans, but it certainly shouldn’t disappoint anyone. Well worth checking out and giving a chance.

CHRIS MARSHMAN