The cats have been fed, the plants have been watered, dishes are done… yeah, I’m kind of killing it tonight! The only way to end such a productive evening is by checking out some new music so let’s start with Black & White Motion Picture’s self-titled album!
“Rx” kicks this album off with a perfectly toned guitar before grunge-styled vocals come in and take this opening track into overdrive. Although there’s no denying the power or the driving nature of this opening track, I love the way this band balances the energy with a hint of emotion. I’ll be honest, I am not a huge Chevelle fan but something about the vocals in this opening track had that name floating around in my head. I know that makes it sound like I’m not a fan but the one saving grace of Chevelle is their vocals and the amount of emotion that comes with each word and that’s exactly what you get from this opening track.
Second on this eight-song album is “Travel Song” and this was instantly a favorite of mine. Although still a bit grungey and very situated in the alternative rock scene, there’s something playful about the vocals in this track that I adore. There’s still a tenderness that comes with each word but there’s also this element of storytelling that I just could not get enough of. Naturally, this is the shortest track on the album and, in under three minutes, “Seize” had taken over my house. This track slows things down and seems to take the tenderness felt in “Travel Song” and makes it a bit more beautifully dramatic. This is an epic and moody track with power but also with a hint of pain both in the vocals and instrumentation.
I don’t know why, but I love song titles that are times so I felt drawn to “3AM”. I just feel like having a title that references a time helps put you in the same mind frame as the song and upon hearing this track, that magic is absolutely there. There’s a sense of defeat, a sense of insomniac frustration but also exhaustion. There are circling guitars in this track that really put you in a bit of a dream state which makes this song fly by. I was drifting off but “One Last Chance” interrupted my little dreamland with a sense of power felt in “Rx”. The way this juxtaposes the mood of “3AM” is brilliant because it reminds you of all of the versatile sides of Black & White Motion Picture. Whereas “3AM” had a sense of defeat attached to it, “One Last Chance” feels defiant and made me feel a million times more energized than I had felt when starting this album.
“Shut Off the World” brings a sharper tongue to the table which I absolutely loved. There’s a sense of aggression of this track to start it off before the chorus soothes everything over like a perfect layer of aloe over a sunburn. Much like the contrast between “3AM” and “One Last Chance”, the contrast heard throughout the movements of this track are stunning and truly made it feel like a perfect rollercoaster ride. A powerful yet emotional guitar solo about halfway through this track was just the icing on the cake that made this another favorite of mine.
Black & White Motion Picture only has two songs left on this album but I was excited to see what else this amazing band had up their sleeves. “Retro Heartbreak” brings a very 90’s vibe to the table which I am always a sucker for. This song feels a bit more simplistic than the other tracks but that doesn’t make it boring in any way. I was caught in the palm of this band’s hand throughout this track and even lost track of time just thoroughly enjoying this song that I was a bit disappointed as the album came to a close with “Never Be the Queen”.
Instead of going out quietly, “Never Be the Queen” ends this track with a sensitive track that is still full of power. although it helps wind things down, it was not the ballad-like track I was expecting this band to end on which was much appreciated. Although it acted as a great period to a great album, it also made me want to dig into this band a little bit more because I felt like there were new elements introduced in this final track that had me intrigued and wanting so much more.
Black & White Motion Picture’s self-titled album isn’t quite what I typically go for as it is situated so firmly in the alt-rock scene but there are so many diverse elements that come in and out throughout this album that it’s truly impossible to not fall in love with this band after checking out this album as a full. So buckle up and take this album for a spin. The ups and downs are sure to hit the spot!
My Favorite Track(s): “Travel Song”; “Shut Off the World”
For Fans Of: Alt-Rock With a Grungey Edge; Beautiful Lyrics
Mosh-ability: 6 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie laid in the living room; Autumn slept upstairs
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 7 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 7 out of 10
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