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Music Review: Motion Turns It On – Rima EP

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Houston, Texas is home to up-and-coming instrumental post-rock group Motion Turns It On. Their debut EP Rima is sure to make plenty of noise in the progressive alternative rock scene and may even give some of their Texas brethren a run for their money.

This release's six songs contain enthusiastic and frankly top notch musicianship and production for a band making their debut here. So, what or who do they sound like? It's tough to say but they could be seen as a somewhat louder, math rock version of Austin, Texas instrumental, ambient post-rock band Explosions In The Sky. Their often adventurous yet structured progressions and aggressive, jagged edged riffs and sometimes dreamy/spacey sounds also shows traces of the Mars Volta (minus the vocals). But again, just when you think you've heard this before, the music veers off into new directions, thus making it hard to pinpoint to any one group. It is however, a brand of instrumental post-rock, unique as it is.

The standout track on Rima is "Satelightning," with its soaring, mournful and almost shoegazer-like guitars and piano licks that match that emotion. Guitarist William Kenny's swirling six-string action is complemented by a tight and highly expressive rhythm section, with Derek Sinquefield on bass and Steve Smith on the skins. And on this track, as on others, Smith alternates between complex, speedy rhythms and slower, simpler ones with ease, while Sinquefield hops around the high and lows strings of his bass, never content to just stay in one place for any length of time.

"Southern Diatribe" is an epic ten-minute prog rocker that evolves into a spacey frontier nearly halfway through, highlighting keyboardist Andres Londono's work. The leadoff and self-titled track "Rima" is perhaps their loudest, full-on rock tune and where you can hear comparisons to the Mars Volta come into fruition. "Spitekyte" builds into a powerful, organ-aided tune that nearly matches "Rima"' in loudness and intensity. And "Daily Juice" starts out like early Verve before the band's dreamy/psychedelic-math-and-prog rock fusion takes over.

Though Motion Turns It On hasn't been on the scene for too long, they are sure to turn lots of heads with this debut. It is impressive, dynamic, aggressive, psychedelic and just plain solid throughout. With an outing like this, expectations for an equally excellent debut album should grow, and from what I hear, the band has added a fifth member (Benjamin O Konski on keys/percussion) and is trying out even more new sounds: trumpets, samples, and vocals, any or all of which should figure into MTIO's next release.
They may not have a record label (yet), but they have their own sound, and an East Coast tour in the works, according to 1-Up PR.

Motion Turns It On's Rima EP is out and available now for purchase at iTunes.

For more info on the band, go to their myspace page.

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About Charlie Doherty

Copy editor/content writer for Penn Multimedia; print/web journalist/freelancer, formerly for Boston Examiner, EMSI, Demand Media, Brookline TAB, Suite 101 and; co-head sports editor & asst. music editor at Blogcritics Magazine; Media Nation independent newspaper staff writer, printed/published by the Boston Globe at 2004 DNC (Boston, MA); Featured in Guitar World May 2014. See me on,, & Facebook.