reviewed by Michael Thomas
Motion is a part of how the world works for most people. Just take a moment to think of all the motions required to read this sentence or scroll down the page, both in your own body and the circuitry of a computer. When you start thinking about it too much, Motions could be the title of an epic concept album.
In this case, though, it’s the sophomore EP of the excellent Elliot Kerr, whose self-titled EP added to the constellation of stellar work involving Ian Jarvis and Matt LeGroulx. Both are involved on this EP again (Jarvis in a production role), and needless to say, the motion of Motions is blissful.
I previously noted the “warmth and precision” of Manners, and the first two songs of the EP are vintage Manners in that regard. There’s some smooth guitar from Kerr, ever-so-slick bass from LeGroulx and waves of sunshine in opener “Gone Missing,” and “Hollywood and the Obscene” gets crunchy with its guitar lines, while still somehow retaining the smoothness of the previous song.
It’s at “Formicarium” that things take a turn. The song (the title is a fancy name for an ant farm) is almost entirely synth-based, and though Kerr’s vocals tell us a journey is on the way (“You can drive on your road”) that journey is into a noisier territory than you might expect based on the EP so far.
“Institutional Memory” is a almost a mixture of the synth madness of “Formicarium” and the sunniness of the earlier songs. There’s a darkness in the cleanness of the song, and that darkness is amplified later with the rhythmic bursts of volume in the guitar. As we arrive at the title track to finish things off, we’re taken on another instrumental journey, and it’s clear that there are many hidden motions that brought us where we finally ended up.
Top Track: “Formicarium”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)