Back in the days when I thought Triple J had some relevance, Sydney’s The Mission in Motion had a single, Control, being played on low rotation. I actually preferred another track of theirs at the time, New Skin, which I played on high rotation. It would have been easy to pigeon-hole their sound as “Pop-Punk” (Oh no, I know, a dirty word…) but what isn’t there to like about that?
Sydney’s pop punk band, The Mission In Motion, take on a variety of influences in their self-titled LP – from gritty alternative rock to more pop tracks.
Quintet bands are all the rage now (goodbye Green Day and Blink-182!). 2-3 part harmonies, jousting of lead vocals, catchy riffs; it’s the ingredients of all good PP bands – worked well for oldies New Found Glory, working well for stalwarts Man Overboard and The Story So Far and doing nicely-thank-you-very-much for current upstarts Neck Deep and Knuckle Puck.
It’s been a few years between handclaps and “ba, ba-la-da,da-la-la-la”’s but TMIM have finally popped back onto the radar and got around to releasing their latest self-titled, 11 track album, which includes previous singles Control and Icarus. Generally, everything leans slightly more towards pop than punk, as the vocals just need to have more of a snarly, gritty edge at times and there’s also a slight lack of harmonies/vocal thrust and parry on tracks.
Small quibbles aside, tracks like Last Call screams Gyroscope-esque rock, Too Soon’s lush lyrics over steady floor tom beats, cruises along reminiscent of Biffy Clyro, and Icarus is an oldie but a goldie – start-up guitar feedback, heavy bass, harmonies, slow-down-crank-back-up track could have been My Chemical Romance circa The Black Parade. Given that album producer Dave Petrovic has worked with some bands from opposite ends of the scales; Tonight Alive and Hands Like Houses, it is no surprise that there are a variety of influences.
Standout track is opener, I’m Coming Round, that pumps nicely along – a guitar segue, a bit of screamo….aaahh, just what you need as a starter! Ready To Go, aside from its ironically titled name as it’s the closing track, is another little gem because it DOES have the vocal sharing, the harmonies et al (and how many songs nowadays fade out?!). It’s a pity then that the rest of the album in between just doesn’t QUITE reach these dizzying heights, but at least they had the decency not to include the ubiquitous acoustic number that a lot of bands do nowadays, which can and does, spoil an otherwise great album.
The Mission in Motion may not be an out-and-out pop-punk album, so let us call it a worthwhile alternative rock album. It will certainly get a fair few more plays to keep my toes tapping and I may not be listening to it in 5 years’ time, but for now it will do very nicely-thank-you-very-much.
Pop over to their Bandcamp page and get a free download of this album .
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