Review of Phanerothyme taken from the
THE KINDA MUZIK YOU LIKE, 2001-09-20.
German. Found at the kinda muzik site and sent in by Bas himself.
Motorpsycho | Phanerothyme
(CD, Stickman / Sonic Rendezvous)
Me: "Hey Mr. Editor, here's my review for the new Motorpsycho album."
Alex: "Damn, that name again! You make me crazy with Motorpsycho, dude. It comes back
in every piece you write, and they release something every six months. Enough is enough!"
Me: "Don't look at me as if I can help it, boss. Those Norwegians are just this
productive, and all of the albums you send me for reviewing are inspired by them."
Alex: "Yeah, yeah, it's all my fault you use the word "Motorpsycho" every sixth line."
(Martijn comes running into the office with the new Slayer on his headphones.)
Martijn: "Is he on full Motorpsycho-mode again? He tried to convince me of their
qualities last year as well, but he didn't succeed. No sir!"
Alex: "Glad to see someone's smart around here."
Martijn: "Thanks chief, can I buy you a drink?"
Alex: "Yeah, alright. Let's get out of here before Bas makes you crazy as well."
Me: "Guys, GUYS! Wait up! Let me explain!"
Alex: "Alright, alright, you don't have to yell. Explain to me why this new album is
this good, and do it like I'm a four-year-old."
Me: [mumbling: "Like that is any different than normal."] "On this new album called
'Phanerothyme' they once again embraced the psychedelic 60s-pop, just like on the last record
'Let Them Eat Cake'."
Alex: "That doesn't mean it automatically turns out to be a good album."
Me: "If you let me finish, please? Thank you. Now they succeeded in putting those
influences flawlessly into their own songwriting skills, and it almost sounds like they
invented this sound themselves! Take for example a song like 'B.S.': It begins like a
rendition of Tom Jones' 'It's Not Unusual', the midsection has a Rhodes piano/flute twinsolo,
a Shadows-like guitar piece, AND a symphonic organ part like Yes in their great days, and it
concludes with one of the catchiest choruses you'll ever hear. And all this in just over three
Alex: "... And?"
Me: "Let's take the opening track 'Bedroom Eyes'. It sounds like Nick Drake is still
alive, but at the same time it's pure Motorpsycho. Or 'Blindfolded', where the guitarist shows
that his voice and writing skills have strongly grown over the years. And the fact that every
song has those tremendously beautiful string and brass arrangements makes the album very
Alex: "Hmm... I don't like to admit it, but your description sounds tempting, it really
does. What more do you have?"
Me: "The stunning 'Painting the Night Unreal' is their new emotive highlight, just like
their classics 'Vortex Surfer' or 'She Used to be Twin' were back then. It's a typical
Motorpsycho song, with a slightly jazzy approach. For me, its the best moment of the album."
Alex: "Alright, you have me convinced. I'll give it a shot. What about you, Martijn?"
Martijn: "Sorry boss, it's just not my cup of tea. Tried it in the past, didn't work
out. I doubt it will be any different in the future. I'm just not infected by the Motorpsycho
Alex: "That's OK, one Motorpsycho addict in the office is more than enough. We can't
let them take over the whole magazine!"
Me: "I just can't help it. No other band is this productive, keeps the quality level
this high, and managed to tour this extensively over the last ten years. And 'Phanerothyme' is
just the next chapter in their continuing saga, but this particular chapter is truly
Alex: "Alright Bas, we heard you the first time as well, you can stop. Now, what about
Bas 'Motorpsycho' Ickenroth