Best-of albums are hard to criticize. The record company has already nit-picked the band’s whole discography, searching for songs that appeal to a large fan base. Trenchmouth, the Chicago band that broke up in 1998 after a 10-year stint, seems more concerned with creating a comp that reflects their anti-mainstream personality and love for creating a mass of disorienting beats. They combed through their four genre-bouncing releases to compile More Motion: A Collection for release on Thick.
The band’s sound is hard to categorize. They bring in reggae, ska, punk, and early ’90s emo, the kind of emo before Dashboard Confessional made their poor-me, heartbreaking whines the center of the emo trend. Trenchmouth’s kind of emo conveys emotion through strong musical inflections and vocals of power and strength, similar to D.C.’s famed Fugazi.
Through the altering tones of Damon Locks’ voice, the band displays their ability to avoid dull and overplayed rhythms. While their tempo is usually a quieter, reggae/ska beat paired every once in a while with a loud guitar riff, Lock’s voice can go from a soft, steady whisper to a normal-speaking level that vibrates with emotion. He never really screams, but even in his throaty whisper he can exude the complicated thoughts of his jumbled mind.
Their lyrics don’t preach the meaning of life, tell you what to feel, or even tell you what the band’s feeling. Their songs seem as if they flipped to random pages in the dictionary, pointed to a few words, and meshed it into a jumble of lines enhanced with a little creative ingenuity. These creations let the listener think for himself to create a personal interpretation of the tune, instead of the song’s meaning being blatantly pushed to stare you in the face.
It’s a compilation for those lazy, cold nights where nothing seems to please you more than laying down and wrapping yourself in a swirl of comfortable blankets. It’s the perfect addition to these stay-at-home laundry nights, an upbeat but relaxing record, letting you prepare for the tipsy, stumbling, up-till-5 a.m. Friday and Saturday night weekend to come.