TEST SPIN: Motion City Soundtrack — Panic Stations

We only rip on the bands we love and, as such, I must take Motion City Soundtrack to task for 2015’s Panic Stations. The 11-song offering, a project with Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth producer John Agnello, lacks the intricacy and vulnerability that endeared listeners to the band’s previous offerings. The album shimmers with a silver lining: Frontman Justin Pierre seems reenergized in recent interviews, and with good reason. This year marks 10 years since Motion City Soundtrack’s tour-de-force Commit This to Memory, an album that delivered pop-punk canon entries “Everything is Alright” and “L.G. FUAD.” Furthermore, Panic Stations resulted from fourteen days of furtive recording in Minnesota’s Pachyderm Studio, birthplace of Nirvana’s In Utero among others. By all indicators, Motion City Soundtrack should be enjoying a dignified position atop the pop-punk upper echelon.