“Jean-Paul,” the opening track on The Truth Will Catch You, Just Wait… would have fit nicely on the Children of Nuggets compilation, alongside such artists as The Hoodoo Gurus and The Fleshtones. The minor-key ringing chords and eerie organ strike the right balance between nostalgia-once-removed and plain old rocking out. But five and a half minutes is overkill for a song that really has only one good idea. Wisely, The Motion Sick keeps all remaining tracks under five minutes each.
“30 Lives” begs the musical question: will the real Motion Sick please stand up? The song is an exercise in faux retro-rock of the Grease variety. Not bad, but not compellingly original, either.
It’s easy to play the spot-the-influence all the way through the disc. The countrified “Walk on Water” sounds like the Old 97s. So when the ballad “Losing Altitude” comes along, it’s welcome. The drumming on the track is extremely effective: it’s a slow-gallop through the verses, and pleasantly varied on the middle eight.
“The Owls Are Not What They Seem” and “Some Loney Day” return to the territory covered on “Jean-Paul,” with menacing chord structures, clever start-stops, effective synthesizer lines and thickly distorted lead guitar. These suggest a logical future direction for the group.
The album effectively wraps up with a cover of Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” If The Motion Sick’s fixation on early 80s new wave wasn’t obvious by now, the inclusion of this track makes it crystal clear. A pointless, tacked-on remix of “30 Lives” adds little.