Show Review

Motives @ The Foundry 1/7

Lisa Sanchez

I first stumbled upon Motives when they popped up on my Spotify “Discover Weekly” playlist. Little did I know that the Cleveland natives would soon become one of my most listened to bands of 2016. Their 2015 album, This World, Not Dead, Merely Sleeping reminded me of the pure grit and energy I missed in music from my teen years. But, Motives weren’t a rehash of the same, lame Underoath and Thursday imitations I’d been hearing for the last several years. The five-piece band was heartfelt, aggressive, and almost inexplicably catchy and memorable.

When I first started listening to Motives, I didn't know that they were actually from my city; Cleveland. I only discovered this when I saw the band was playing a show at The Foundry and totally uttered an “Oh, shit!” when I discovered their origins. Luckily (and thankfully) I got a chance to catch Motives for the first time at the Cleveland venue and chat a bit with vocalist Ian Slagle and bassist Dan Ackerman.

I had to ask the Motives dudes, “Why didn’t I know you guys were from Cleveland until now?” and Dan’s answer was, generally, “If we knew we’d tell you.” The singer and bassist joked that they’re not very social, but also pointed out that they’re adults with full time jobs and normal responsibilities. Despite these engagements, Motives has still toured the country before and is amping up for another month and a half long United States tour.

Motives has been around for five years and released their first full-length album, This World, Not Dead, Merely Sleeping in 2015. Ian, Dan, and the band are hoping to record another full length in 2017. The members told me they already have two songs completed and plan to write while they’re on the road. Ian and Dan also told me the story of how on one of their tours they won a hermit crab at a fair and kept him throughout the duration of their journey. “We called him Paul the Trash Crab,” Dan said.

Paul the Trash Crab survived throughout the tour and has officially been to more cities and venues than I will ever visit in my life. Ian even said that when Motives reached the coast, the vocalist took Paul the Trash Crab out of his enclosure and let him enjoy a little taste of the ocean. Of course, the vocalist protected Paul from seagulls too.

Motives' set at The Foundry was what I had hoped, like a jump kick with emotionalism. The band played songs off of This World, Not Dead, Merely Sleeping, and even slipped in a Black Sabbath cover (to the joy of my nine year old heart). The crowd wasn’t huge, and largely uninvolved, but Ian, Dan, and the other members of Motives still performed like they intended to leave their sweat on the stage, which they accomplished.

I’ve lived in Cleveland for seven years and I've seen bands come and go. Some good, some OK, and definitely more than a fair share that were overrated for the area. But, Motives deserve not only Cleveland’s attention, they deserve the country’s attention. I liked Motives before, but they’re also just solid dudes. Plus, you know that any band that cares for a hermit crab and gives it a comfortable life and a happy death is a solid ensemble.

Don’t just listen to Motives for their heart and their razor sharp hooks, do it to honor the memory of Paul the Trash Crab.

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