Movements

11sep7:00 pmMovements7:00 pm

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It’s been a whirlwind few years for Movements as evidenced by the fact that band’s 2020 album No Good Left to Give debuted at #3 on the Alternative chart and their streams have doubled since then with 200 million total streams in the U.S. alone. However, despite their success, the Southern Californian act have constantly reinvented themselves since forming in 2015—and the band’s third full-length RUCKUS! sees the post-hardcore quartet taking their sound to expansive and sometimes unexpected places. Produced by longtime collaborator Will Yip (Circa Survive, Code Orange), the album fuses post-hardcore and punk influences with a healthy dose of pop songcraft to create an album that defies scene conventions in favor of something wholly unique. “When we started this band one of our goals was to work with Will, so the fact that we’ve been able to make all of our records is kind of crazy because he’s like god-tier to us,” explains Movements’ vocalist Patrick Miranda. “This album was very collaborative because we wrote the entire album in the studio with Will acting like the fifth member of the band.”

In order to accomplish this, the band—which also features guitarist Ira George, drummer Spencer York and bassist Austin Cressey—made three extended trips to Yip’s Studio 4 in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, to write and record the collection of songs that would end up as RUCKUS! “I truly don’t believe that it could have been a more streamlined process and I don’t think we’ve ever written music that’s as good as what we put together for this record,” Miranda explains. “We decided that as a band it was really important for us to step outside of our comfort zone and really challenge ourselves because we collectively thought we had gotten close to the ceiling of where we could go with the particular style of music we were playing,” he continues. “That’s not to say we don’t respect and love our roots, but we wanted to really see how far we could go as a rock band and make this something that we could continue to do well beyond our twenties as a career act.”

While early in the career the band were associated with the “emo revival” scene of the past decade, RUCKUS! sees the band integrating decidedly different influences such as Gorillaz and Strokes into their sound to challenge people’s preconceptions of their sound. A perfect example of that mission statement is the song “Tightrope,” which wouldn’t sound out of place on mainstream pop radio with its delicate timbre and instantly relatable subject matter. “Instrumentally that song was influenced by acts like Snow Patrol and Augustana but with the vocal melody and sensibility of a true pop song,” Miranda says, adding that he isn’t ashamed to admit that he is a fan of Justin Bieber. “I love a lot of really poppy music, so I wanted to try to intentionally create vocal melodies and lyrics that made that song feel like a pop-rock banger, you know? With this album we really tried to draw inspiration from different places and go out on a limb… and it’s turned into something that people really seem to be enjoying.”

“Lead Pipe” is another standout track on the album, which features aggressive guitar riffs, distorted bass and a massive chorus that’s destined to evoke impassioned sing-alongs. “I love that song because I feel like it’s a great combination of our newer sound mixed with our older ideology,” Miranda explains. “The song is essentially about a mental health struggle as most of our songs are, but this one in particular is very much about not letting that voice in the back of your head have too much power. There are times when I feel like I’m getting better and I’m proud of my accomplishments in life and then at some point the cycle repeats and I end up dealing with the same things I’ve dealt with in the past,” he continues. “It’s been a series of ups and downs and that song is me addressing that voice in the back of my head and telling it, ‘I’m not going to let you win’; I’m angry and I’m not going to be a victim to this. Correspondingly Miranda describes “Lead Pipe” as feeling like a classic Movements track disguised as something new for the band.

From the visceral anger of “I Hope You Choke!” to the syncopated groove of “Killing Time,” RUCKUS! showcases the band’s creativity and versatility as Miranda similarly pushes his own vocal boundaries in an unprecedented way. “I’ve been classically trained as a singer for my entire life, and I wanted to show a wider range of what I’m capable of with this record because it’s fun to do a variety of things,” Miranda explains. “There’s a lot of loud screaming and soft singing and it’s really fun to have a wide range of dynamics because it makes the performances a lot more exciting to me.” Although mental health is addressed on RUCKUS! it isn’t the central theme of Miranda’s lyrics this time around and he presents a more positive side of the band that’s less melancholic and more inspired. “Fans of our past work will definitely still be able to connect to these songs, but I think the songs on this album are a little less dark lyrically and easier to listen to if you’re not in the mood for something that’s dense or depressing.”

Ultimately RUCKUS! Is an album that will resonate with listeners regardless of their musical preferences and is primed to take Movements to the next level, without it feeling contrived or calculated. “I think we’ve always been the kind of band that can ride the line between different genres and make it work in the sense that we’ve done pop-punk tours, but we’ve also toured with [metalcore acts like] Kublai Khan and Knocked Loose,” Miranda adds. “I love the fluidity that we have as a band, and I hope that continues to grow because I think there’s something on this album for everybody. If there’s one community of music listeners who enjoy even one song we make, then that’s a win for me,” he summarizes. “We just want the music to reach as many people as possible,” he summarizes. “All we don’t want is to be put into a box.”

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