Don’t call it Emo; The Convalescing is tried and true rock ‘n’ roll
The follow-up to Motion Theatre’s 2011 EP “The Relative Minor” is a virtuous slice of what would most likely be called “emo” today. Actually, though the sound of “The Convalescing” succeeds in transcending most modern musical classifications, this release brings genuine Emo to mind, rather than the convoluted mess that passes for what was once a legitimate sub-genre. But just for the sake of preserving Motion Theatre’s musical options, “The Convalescing” might be better described as a melodic rock ‘n’ roll record with heartfelt vocals and lyrics with genuine songwriting with potential for mass appeal, while still retaining musical integrity.
“The Convalescing” could fall in the aforementioned category, primarily, because of the sincere sentimentality and raw feeling that are present in vocalist Greg Lilly’s voice and lyrics. He exhibits an appropriate dose of longing that displays truthful emotion. The band itself gives an unyielding performance and seems to have great songwriting chemistry together. The stops are tight and the break downs are on point. This is due, in no small part, to strong bass lines and Krystion Stover’s spot-on drumming. Justin Puett and Robbie Lanham are the talented guitar players of the group and their abilities are showcased front and center. Collectively, Motion Theatre has created a record that stands out as a strong second offering.
Of the ten tracks on the record, the opening track, “Dear Brittany” sets the tone for the rest of the record to come. It’s a great display of musical talent and good songwriting with ardently authentic lyrics and vocals. The song also shows us that the guitars mean business. This is an excellent choice for the lead-off tune.
“Separated” continues the barrage, holds the listener’s attention and flows right along with a seamless transition into the next song, “Eleven/Eleven,” originally released as a single and a glimpse of what was to come.
Other prominent entries on “The Convalescing” are tracks like “Goodnight Satellite” and “Devils,” a tune with nice, bright ringing guitars and catchy hooks throughout.
“Sail Away” stands out due to great songwriting and earnest feeling with a hint of desolation. The harmonies are sweet and arranged and executed flawlessly. The use of piano, cello and violin adds multi-layered dimension. Other notable tracks that stick out are “Still Alive” and “Releasing.”
“The Convalescing” is a strongly recommended listen for anyone who can appreciate melody, technical musicianship and honest lyrics that show the soul of the band quite candidly.