Justin Courtney Pierre of Motion City Soundtrack fame has given us a taste of his voice in the past performing guest vocals for everybody from Fall Out Boy to Metro Station. This time however he’s doing it for himself on his latest EP An Anthropologist On Mars.

The record opens with ‘Dying To Know’, a song that may on the surface appear to be all thrashing drums and slick guitar solos, but if you have a keen ear you may be able to make out some lyrical brilliance also. The quirky lyric video shows the words how they sound coming out of Courtney Pierre’s mouth and is, therefore, no help in deciphering the actual lyrics. What we can make out is that he is “just Dying To Know who you are”, and that this is where the title of the EP comes from as in one line he “feels like an Anthropologist On Mars.”

Next up is ‘I Hate Myself’, a short track that is stretched a little longer than the last at 2:17 minutes long. It shows off his unique vocals well with the track that is very much centered around them. ‘Footsteps’ comes creeping up on us for a longer song still, at a more expected length. It has a catchy chorus and splendid vocals that we love to hear. “It’s my favorite song everybody sing it / Come along and join us underground,” says Courtney Pierre. It certainly is the standout track on the EP, a favorite song indeed.

‘Promise Not To Change’ is another short sharp kick at just 1:45 mins. There’s an upbeat guitar solo in this track that reminds us of something a little retro. The song trails off wonderfully with the words, “Promise not to change / Throw each memory down the drain until nothing left remains / Yeah I promise not to change you.”

Finally on to ‘Illumination’ where the piano in the intro and background of this song is the string that holds it together. Another longer track at just under three and a half minutes. “There is no easy way to say what I have to say,” we’re told and if the listener didn’t know better it would seem like a lovestruck ballad. There’s a nice touch at the end as the song fades out into an echoey abyss.

This EP is very listenable and veers into enjoyable very quickly.  The short songs however leave you wishing they were longer and in general, the EP has you wanting to hear more. Maybe however that’s the point, with any luck this is just the tip of the iceberg and there’s more to come.

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