Motion carries

by Nathan Hall

Split EPs, be they seven-inches or CDs, are somewhat of a strange bird. Slightly longer than a free sampler you would pocket at the cash register, but still too short to gain an accurate idea of the band’s sound, the medium appears to subsist solely for the purpose of extended exposure for a band with which you are already somewhat familiar.

The recent collaboration between local emo-workhorses Motion City Soundtrack and the similarly-veined Austin, Texas, four-piece band Schatzi handily accomplishes its implied goal: an unofficial competition of sorts between the Southwest and Midwest’s post-hardcore scenes. This “versus” concept is the doing of a new Beverly Hills-based label called Redemption, which usually has a more established label such as Doghouse foot part of the overhead costs.

The two notable tracks here are Motion City Soundtrack’s “Back to the Beat,” a lighthearted valentine to the glory days of hip-hop, and Schatzi’s “Coreopsis,” which miraculously weaves interstellar space travel, predatory plants, obesity and police brutality into a makeshift anthem of sorts.

The lone throwaway cut is Schatzi’s tepid cover of the classic rock station staple “Any Way You Want It.” Why anyone would want to relive the searing, nauseous, burning ear infection that is Journey note for note is beyond me. It could be a lot worse, though. At least recent Epitaph signees Motion City Soundtrack did not take a crack at Bad English’s “When I See You Smile.”

Nathan Hall welcomes comments at [email protected]