Motionless In White – ‘Graveyard Shift’

By Andy Leddington

Despite numerous personnel changes and a public consesus that ranges from “awful gothy metalcore shite” to “unique and brilliant gothy metalcore amazingess”, Motionless In White have, over their relatively short 10+ years as a band, managed to become quite a mainstay of the alternative scene. Their fourth full-length release ‘Graveyard Shift’ is the first to not feature long-standing keyboard player Josh Balz, and comes at an almost conspicuously good time considering Marilyn Manson apparently forgot to release a record earlier this year.

Manson is all over this record. Despite their main keyboard player having departed, the electronic craft over ‘Graveyard Shift’ is an almost unrecognisable amount more pronounced than on their debut album ‘Creatures’, and Chris Motionless’ vocals are, for the most part, much closer to The God Of Fuck’s than the Eighteen Visions-esque metalcore bellow he had before. Even where Manson isn’t being directly channeled, there’s still plenty of industrial comparisons to be made; most of ‘Queen For Queen’ could have been made by Celldweller, ditto for Blue Stahli on ‘Untouchable’. There’s a very definite Nightmare Before Christmas rip-off in ‘Not My Type: Dead As Fuck 2’ which is almost certainly on purpose.

As well and good as this is, the blend of quite generic industrial beats and synths and quite generic metalcore riffs and breakdowns is not the most exciting of combinations. ‘Graveyard Shift’ is also let down by having some extremely questionable lyrical content: “I’ma have my cake and fucking eat you too” in ‘Necessary Evil’ sounds kind of clever on surface level but as a statement is about as meaningless as any other collection of nine words randomly thrown together. If the whole Motionless In White thing doesn’t work out Chris could definitely have a decent career as an innuendo writer for Steel Panther, because based on this album alone he clearly knows a lot of different ways of saying he’s going to bang someone.

The culmination of the eyebrow-raising cringiness of the over-sexualised lyrics is ‘Not My Type: Dead As Fuck 2’ featuring such over-the-top gems as “She loves me ’cause I like to give head like a zombie” and “if she’s got a pulse then she’s not my type”. It’s possible that these are simply there so that parents will glance disapprovingly at their offspring’s door as they walk past while it’s blaring out of the speakers, but it is also just as possible that they were written in lieu of anything artistic or meaningful.

Even though the lyrics throughout are crap, and even though the musical composition is just two generic things generically smashed together, there is something enjoyable about ‘Graveyard Shift’. The stomp of the music is infectious beyond refusal, and if you can switch all bits of your brain off other than the bits that do “Shout” and “Breathe” then the lyrics cease to be so much of an issue and instead become something hilariously ironic to sing along to. Despite the many glaring flaws they have added Motionless In White have made an album that, at the very core of it, is a bouncy, head-banging romp through nearly 50 minutes of enjoyably basic electro-metalcore.

It’s a pretty sure bet that the songs on ‘Graveyard Shift’ will be pretty entertaining to experience live, especially at Motionless In White’s main stage performance at Download in less than a fortnight, but whether that’s because we’re laughing at them or with them will depend highly on how many of our neurons we’ve had to kill off with alcohol beforehand.

ANDY LEDDINGTON

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