Release Date: 12/03/21
Record Label: Epitaph Records
For Fans Of: Motion City Soundtrack, Say Anything, New Found Glory
If there were such a thing as a royal family of pop-punk, Justin Courtney Pierre would surely be anointed Prince. The Motion City Soundtrack frontman is back with his new solo EP, An Anthropologist On Mars, which is a melodic masterclass that radiates personality and an endearing charm. Long-standing fans of Pierre will recognise the trademark blend of playful and poignant lyrics instantly, while new kids on the block will soon grasp why he is so highly regarded on the pop-punk scene.
There’s a self-critical theme to An Anthropologist On Mars that could be discerned from the tracklisting alone. The bluntly titled ‘I Hate Myself’ on the surface is a synth-infused firework of fun, but the lyrics paint a picture with a far darker palette of colours. ‘Illumination’ is a more subtle reflection on times-gone-by and is an example of the beauty Pierre can create within music. The track is interwoven with a nostalgia and retrospect that feels all too relatable, but with a positive outlook that many could learn something from.
‘Promise Not To Change’ begins at breakneck speed and doesn’t apply the brakes until its abrupt end. This track requires the use of a seatbelt for your own safety throughout, consider yourself warned. The first single from An Anthropologist On Mars was ‘Dying To Know’, one minute and forty seconds of anthemic choruses, insatiable riffs, and infectious hooks that reel you in from the get-go. The gorgeous bass on ‘Footsteps’ is only overshadowed by some impressive vocal arrangements that will turn the most stubborn frown upside-down.
An Anthropologist On Mars is an EP that feels like an amalgamation of Justin Courtney Pierre’s illustrious career to date, a showcasing of the immense talent he possesses. Every effort on the release earns its stripes and offers something different to the track before it. There’s a joy that resides in listening to this record, whether it’s the intergalactic synthesizers, the lyrical poetry and playfulness, or the explosions of energy that erupt throughout. There’s a comfort in an artist staying true to their roots and that’s exactly what Justin Courtney Pierre has done here, to great success.
Recommended Track: ‘Footsteps’