Written by: Alleen Hughes
Justin Courtney Pierre - In The Drink
Label: Epitaph Records
Release Date: October 12, 2018
A comforting voice from our emo teenage years has re-emerged to speak to our emo adulthood selves. Justin Courtney Pierre has been a well known name for over 20 years now but since the hiatus of Motion City Soundtrack began in 2016, JCP had a plan to focus on domestic life. But like most musicians, his creativity never took a hiatus and he’s now ready to share his works through his first solo album, In The Drink.
I think the best and most simple way to describe In The Drink is that it’s a more mature Motion City Soundtrack but with its own individuality. Pierre keeps to his goofy and lighthearted nature in his lyrics but adds more levels of depth and experimentation instrumentally. He took a stronger focus on the artistic layers to each track and constructed it all together by playing every instrument with the exception of some trumpets and drums which were provided by David Jarnstrom (drums). In an interview with Billboard Magazine in July, Pierre said he enlisted the help of MCS bandmate Joshua Cain to produce the album which makes it even more special to MCS fans because the touch of family helped make this release possible.
The album begins with the mellow track “Undone,” but that’s just the calm before the storm. Throughout the album listeners can hear the familiarity of MCS intertwined with chaotic and messy yet impressive instrumentals. Pierre gets more bass heavy with these tracks mixing in more manic guitar leads and grungy synth effects. Instead of closing the album out in a mellow fashion like the intro, Pierre leaves a lasting impression with “Goodnight Hiroyuki.” The distortion is evenly balanced with Pierre’s soft vocals before an electrifying fadeout.
The best thing about seeing Justin Courtney Pierre making music again is the satisfaction he’s expressing when speaking about the album. He placed no expectations on this release and has said that he’s okay if he only puts out just this one. Pierre created everything that was suiting for him and what his vision was. In The Drink is a rejuvenating album that fits well with the change of seasons and will provide you comfort on those gloomy and trying Fall and Winter days.
I Don’t Know Why She Ran Away
Ready Player One
I’m A Liar
Shoulder The Weight
In The Dark