On Feel Something, the debut LP from Southern California four piece Movements, releasing this week via Fearless Records, the band carve out their niche. Previously experimenting with many different styles, taking pieces of post-hardcore, emo, melodic hardcore, grunge and more into their work, the band have chosen to narrow down their focus and use only what works best for them. The result is their most intense, enjoyable material yet.
Movements’ first proper release, 2016’s Outgrown Things, was unique and emotional enough to bring the band to fervent affection and establish them as one to watch, but it still sounds like a band figuring themselves out. There’s nothing wrong with that—the band members were (and still are) very young, and this is their first EP we’re talking about. On Feel Something, however, that feeling of youthful naivety is gone. Movements have grown up, lived life on the road, met new people and weathered the storms of adulthood and mental illness, and it all shows in their newest work.
The band is well known for their lyrical content, often telling depressing, deeply personal yet relatable stories and utilizing spoken word parts to further express sadness, self-hatred, and anger, and all of that remains on Feel Something, although presented in a much more polished way. The band’s movement (ahem) in a dare-I-say poppier direction allows the lyrics to stand out in front much more.
A particularly soul-crushing example of lyrical aptitude on Feel Something comes in the second single “Deadly Dull,” which tells the story of an elderly man with Alzheimer’s disease who doesn’t remember the death of his wife. ‘This is a story of a man and his wife / And how she died of that same disease / How he stayed with after her spirit left / But he won’t remember her death,’ sings vocalist Patrick Miranda in the first verse, daring the listener not to start openly sobbing. “Deadly Dull” also includes my favorite guitar part on the record—guitarist Ira George plays a simple yet gorgeous riff at the beginning of the song, repeats it a few more times and eventually closes out the track in the same way, bringing the heartbreaking story to its end.
Besides the all-important lyrics, Movements have also shifted and matured their sound. As mentioned previously, the early days of Movements kind of felt like one part idol worship, one part throwing stuff at a wall to see what sticks, but the Movements we hear on Feel Something is self-assured and genre bending. The guitar work is intricate and catchy, working its way into your brain and staying put. Bassist Austin Cressey has some shining moments as well, like in the opening of “Deep Red,” and the drums are pounding and grounded throughout. The band’s ability to move between softer, prettier moments and hard-hitting explosiveness with ease is impressive and fun to listen to. Miranda’s intense vocal delivery ties everything together, sometimes shouting (“Under The Gun”) and other times nearly crooning (“Fever Dream”) his heartfelt lyrics over the smooth foundation the rest of the band has created.
Perhaps my favorite track is the opener “Full Circle” which includes everything you expect from a Movements song: emotional lyrics, a punchy rhythm section and a slick guitar tone topped off with a hard-hitting spoken word verse detailing Miranda’s hope to feel better someday.
To sum it up, Feel Something is addictive; the sound and the stories of Movements make you want to keep coming back for more. From spacey guitar work, to desperate sing-a-long lyrics, everything contained within these 11 songs is exciting. The band have tightened up their loose ends and made a super solid record that will immediately have you hitting replay.