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The next Faint?

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Moving Units
Hexes For Exes
Metropolis Records
Release Date: October 9th, 2007

Come October 9th, throw everything that you thought you knew about the Moving Units out the window. Those minimal dance rock, "Between Us & Them" days are over. After a 4 year hiatus, the Moving Units are back with their sumptuous, sophomore album Hexes For Exes. While it is the next logical step from their 2003 release Dangerous Dreams, I did not expect the new album to reek so much of The Faint. I never would have guessed the heavy-hitting, electronically-driven turn in events, but I wholeheartedly approve. Besides, why wait for The Faint to get themselves together for another album when the Moving Units can do it better.

Hexes For Exes opens up with the familiar syncopated dance rock tones that we have come to closely associate with Moving Units. "Pink Thoughts" incorporates steady, fast-paced drumming and irresistibly melodic choruses, marked by extensive high hat use. Nothing out of the ordinary. However, there are over produced moments on the album where the Moving Units sound exactly like The Faint. On "Crash 'N Burn Victims", Blake Miller inadvertently emulates the unmistakably flamboyant tone of The Faint's front man Todd Fink. We also see this identity crisis emerge in songs like "Nail It To The Cross", "Pick Up The Phone" and "The Kids From Orange County", where Miller presumably takes a stab at that evil OC culture that non-substantive shows like Laguna Beach spawned: "La la la la la la everyone's going LA". With thumping bass lines, raging dance beats, and infectious choruses, it's hard not to focus upon the overriding undertones.

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Moving Units - "The Kids From Orange County"

The majority of the album is comprised of solid, dance-infused pop anthems. We see a slight 80's-influenced digression in "Dark Walls". The synth-orchestrated arrangements are backed by continuous single-note plucking and busy Bloc Party-esque beats. Oddly enough, it brings me back to the Cure's "Just Like Heaven". "Paper Hearts", "Dark Walls", and "Wrong Again" form a substantial bloc of hauntingly catchy tunes marked by mid-paced choruses and carefree resolution.

The album closer "Blood Beats" revives the old school Moving Units sound. The contagious dance qualities and dark pop melodies remind me why I loved this band to begin with. The song concludes the album with an extended, extended chorus, dance synths, and bursts of screaming yeah's. Exactly how I'd like to remember them for the next four years. Although something tells me that this album will be resoundingly well-receieved, which just might inspire them to avoid another four year hiatus.