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No Motiv
DAYLIGHT BREAKING
(Vagrant)
Stars graphics

No Motiv have been making catchy alterna-rock albums for Vagrant since 1999, way before the label struck gold with Dashboard Confessional. The Southern Californiansí current disc is their first without producer Trever Keith (Face to Face), but its bottom-heavy commercial sheen proves they know their way around the studio. First single "Into the Darkness" is rooted in rugged skatepunk but strives for something more profound. "Darkness pulls me away, Iím falling into nowhere/I canít see anything, I want it over now," frontman Jeremy Palaszewski wails as the guitars balance sunshine and paranoia. More than a few of todayís emo buzz bands could stand to borrow some of the songís heft.

Thereís more darkness where that came from on the rest of the disc, which isnít a total bummer but might benefit from a little more of the daylight in its title. "Where Did You Go?" wrings a fervid sing-along from romantic despair; "Robot Eyes" bemoans nine-to-five complacency. "Brand New Day" is the albumís most joyous moment: "Itís a brand new day, and youíre in my way," Palaszewski howls at a backstabbing acquaintance. And when No Motiv shed their angst on the uplifting closer, "Life Goes On," it comes as a relief.

(No Motiv open for Andrew W.K. this Friday, May 21, at Matrix, 275 Tremont Street in the Theater District; call 617-542-4077. Then on May 22, theyíre at Lupoís at the Strand, 79 Washington Street in Providence; call 401-831-4071.)

BY SEAN RICHARDSON


Issue Date: May 21 - 27, 2004
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