Rating: 3 + ½ / ?
They're called Motorpsycho. Their producer's called Deathprod. Harder! Better! Faster!
Stronger!, right? Wrong. Admittedly, the Trondheim trio might have been guilty of maximum
heaviosity in the past but 'Phanerothyme' (a manner of psychedelic experience, apparently,
and not wholly inappropriately either) may likely confound even the most enthusiastic
'Psychophile and, maybe more significantly, should win them a notably broader following in
It should, by rights, be hard work. After all, the whole thing, though not overlong, is
still something of a sprawling mess, and it can certainly descend into quite remarkable
denseness at times. However, there are at least two major saving graces. First of all,
there's a pleasantly and hitherto undiscovered pop sensibility at play here that leaves
'Bedroom Eyes' sounding like Mercury Rev in a fuzzy quilt and keeps 'The Slow Phaseout'
bubbling dizzily along, and secondly, and more importantly, there's the sense that
Motorpsycho, more than almost any of their peers, are unhindered by any notions of what they
should be listening to. So if they want to do a Beach Boys pastiche that throws in a Doors-
style keyboard odyssey halfway through and call it 'Go To California' then they can, and if
they feel like referencing sources as superficially distant as Mark Knopfler (come back!)
and Saint Etienne without pounding away at the novelty buttons then that's an option
Of course, it takes a certain audacity to get away with making a record that risks leaving
the casual listener quite as bewildered as this one can on numerous occasions, but that's
something this lot appear in no way short of, making them probably closer to, say, the Super
Furry Animals than giant swathes of their alternative bedfellows. Motorpsycho emptiness? Not
round these parts...