It’s fine. Some of us take a little longer to discover who we are and fully become ourselves. As human beings, some of us take until our thirties to become comfortable in our skin and find our niche. Others emerge from the chrysalis, butterfly wings flapping in full effect, but some of us need that time and space to explore and find what doesn’t work, before finding what does. So, it’s fine that it’s taken Motionless In White four albums to truly become who they were meant to be, because with Graveyard Shift, their first for new home Roadrunner Records, they have truly found their space to great effect.
There has always been a feeling that MiW would get there, but there were rumblings that, despite having several bangers littered throughout their opening three albums (all Fearless Records), they were too schizophrenic and scattergun and were too busy trying too hard to truly click. But from the opening squirt of ‘Rats’ electronica into a simple shuffling riff, the grin cracks the face as, by jove Jenkins, they’ve gone and done it.
The formula may be simple, and it’s a formula we all expected them to discover. Sitting in the centre sliver of a Venn diagram with circles labelled Industrial, Goth, Metalcore, Nu-metal, there is a post-modern Gothic beauty in their new style.
Dispensing, in the main, with unfocused raging, and the Cradle of Filth and Metalcore 101 isms of yesteryear, and concentrating on hitting that sweet-spot between Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie and Slipknot, with each song having a spotlight shining on a massive hook of a chorus (and Graveyard Shift has anthems and slogans for the zombie hordes to chant aplenty: ‘Not My Type – Dead As Fuck 2’ has been stuck in my head every day since I first heard it, all Rocky Horror-meets-Manson fun and games), MiW now write bigger and better songs, all the while more stompy and catchy than before, reaping the benefits of taking the foot off the pedal.
It’s a minor gripe, but I do have issues with some of the lyrics, which, on a superficial level at least, seem to splash in the puddles of nu-metal misogyny, but these are countered by a song like ‘Loud (Fuck It)’, a call to arms following Chris Cerulli’s ‘TEI Workshops’ on last years Warped Tour, where he engaged in positive discussions with disenfranchised, depressed fans and people who identified as alternative, or outsiders.
On the surface, you’d think it was easy to write huge, theatre filling stompers to ignite and excite the multitudes, but with so few actually able to do it, it’s a great pleasure to see MiW step up their game. “You gotta be loud, You gotta be rude, So the world can hear you” they cry. And you’ve got to be true to yourself to truly realize your potential. By finding themselves, Motionless In White have just made a big and lasting statement with Graveyard Shift.