The Making Moves series is an odd pairing, having a well seasoned and accomplished like Motion City Soundtrack handle the musical side of things by “curating” the series and music business college students from Drexel University handle the business side of things through their Mad Dragon Records imprint. The later part really shines through in the finer details of this box set.
Featuring all six volumes of the Making Moves series, this box set also comes with a cheap promo poster and a USB drive that has a roughly two-hour documentary on the making of the series, liner notes for each volume and for good measure additional MP3’s of all the songs in the series. Going volume by volume (1-6) the bands featured are The Company We Keep, Brick + Mortar, A gret Big Pile Of Leaves, Goldrush, The Skies Revolt and Motion City Soundtrack. Volume 1 is on translucent red, volume 2 is on translucent yellow, volume 3 is on coke bottle clear, volume 4 is on translucent green, volume 5 is on translucent blue and volume 6 is on opaque purple. There were 200 copies of this box set made, which I;m assuming is just meant for the box itself, the poster and the USB drive. because the six 7″ records that come with this set are exactly the same as the ones you can buy separately, so there were probably thousands of the records pressed. The box set also comes with an obi strip as well.
Before getting into the many negative aspects of this box set I’ll mention some of the positive ones. The records sound great. That’s it. If you want to talk about a discombobulated mess look no further. There is next to no attention to detail and comes off as if there was an I don’t give a f*** attitude when putting everything together. I understand this is a college student thing, but how their advisors or whoever oversaw this project gave final approval of everything is sad. Maybe the merch company and/or pressing plants had a hand in it too, but having personally gone through college and having a thesis project that was scrutinized with a fine tooth comb, how some things slipped through is appalling.
First I’ll go into what is on the USB drive, which has the biggest downfalls.the liner notes and lyrics are plain word documents converted into a pdf. Only three of the six singles/bands have photos from the recording session on the USB drive. And the ones that do have photos, the quality of the photos varies from tiny 432×281 pixels to large 1281 x 853 pixels. The vibe I got from watching the documentary was another I don’t give a f*** moment. It’s like they filmed it and edited it together just so it made sense chronologically then called it a day. Content wise it’s great but the finer production details like lighting and sound are terrible. No regard for white balancing or setting up lights properly if at all and no adjusting of the sound levels to blend everything together. I watched it with headphones on and there were multiple, seemingly random moments where I had to rip my headphones off because it hurt my ears.
The MP3’s are all over the place when you use the download cards that come with each 7″. Song names wrong, band names and album title not entered for most of the downloads, quality varies from VBR to 320 kbps on up to 2116 kbps, for some only 1 song on a single has artwork while the other 2 songs don’t have artwork attached. Some singles don’t have artwork attached at all. For the artwork some singles have the cover of the respective 7″, which makes sense, while others have random artwork. Oddly enough the MP3’s on the USB drive are all at 320kbps but the issue with the artwork and song info are still there.
As for the physical portions of this box set, the box itself is barely big enough to hold all the records. You almost have to force them in. The lid for the box, which slides on and off, is a struggle to take off and put back on. It’s very tight. Also, to mimmick the die cut jackets for the records so the center labels show through, there is a just a giant white swath in the center of the box. I would have liked more creativity, or maybe an entirely unique box design rather than continuing a theme that doesn’t quite work. The poster isn’t folded properly, none of the folds are straight. Only one of the singles had a dust sleeve when the other five didn’t. nd when you add dust sleeves to them they no longer fit inside their sleeves. The stickers on the poly sleeves are slapped on in random spots; some are in the top left corner, some in the top right, one put in the middle along one of the sides. Lastly, why have the sixth volume being pressed as an opaque vinyl instead of translucent vinyl to match the rest of the set?
This box set cost $40 before shipping, and tack on another $10 for that and it comes out to $50. Each record costs about $6 if you bought them separatley. So a bunch of stuff that wound up being pointless garbage wound up costing $10. To add further insult to injury, the box set was delayed for two months because of Hurricane Sandy, something I had to deal with on a personal level as well. To sum things up this is one of the few releases I have in my collection I’m disappointed with.