[media stories: english: 1999]

Daniel on Motorpsycho

Extensive band feature taken from
Mammoth Volume's band site which is hosted by
the stoner-rock e-zine
STONERROCK.COM, 1999-09-18.
English. Found at the stonerrock-site.

Norwegian rock music ... If you didnīt know you couldnīt tell, īcause it sounds very american at times, very alternative, very indie. But thereīs also english 70īs hard rock. And then something ... norwegian I guess. But I fell in love with the group in a big way.

The first album I got was Trust Us, a double CD from -98. The first time I listened to it was when I got home from a saturday night on the town, tired and drunk, and one minute into the first record I fell asleep. Some 20 minutes later Iīm violently awaken by an avalanche of semi- distorted guitars played at top volume, and a guy ripping his throat out to this "wall of sound" backdrop. Iīm thinking I died and went to hard rock heaven, sink in to it and fall back to sleep.
   Next weekend, still havenīt taken time out to listen to the record, same saturday night situation, same exact time into the record: Iīm pulled out of dreamland and put in a strange place (my sofa) with this powerful music as a filmscore (Vortex Surfer). The following sunday was thoroughly dedicated to getting to know the album inside out. That in turn led to me absolutely needing to get hold of all of Motorpsychos records.

A very productive group, their discography could be made endless, but to concentrate on their full-length albums, it all started with Demon Box -93. Pretty much a mixure of dirty progressive hard rock, accoustic songs (with a psychedelic touch) and some heavy sonic experimentation. And, what I consider to be one of the more charming trademarks of Motorpsycho, the lo-fi four-track songs that crop up on the albums (and is the reason you should get all the EPs they put out). Not a first pick album by the norwegians, but the ruffest, dirtiest one. To quote the guys themselves: "I need you like I need gangrene". Well, itīs not that bad, but I donīt feel I have to listen to this one every once in a while.

  Motorpsycho in 1996

With the lovely Timothyīs Monster from 1994, I DO! A double album cramed full with all kinds of music. Another one of the lo-fi wonders kicks it off and then, all you have to do is to lean back and enjoy the variety of songs coming at you. Great songs. Mellow and emotionell to panicky angst. Never ever "heavy metal" (their latest live albumīs called Heavy Metall iz a Poze, Hardt Rock iz a Laifschteil) and not "glossy teen brit pop", itīs quite possibly everything in between. You can detect their admiration for groups like Dinasour Jr and Sebadoh, and also old rockers like The Who, Led Zeppelin and Sonic Youth. Alltogether a great album, but songs like Kill Some Day, GiftLand, Watersound and The Golden Core make it a classic. (Watersound would be a cool name for a group ...)

Like a Blissard it hit in 1996, the ultimate alternative rock / indie album, and probably the more accessible side of Motorpsycho. A great first if you want to check them out. (Try rewinding from the first track to catch the bonus song). Lead guitarist Snah can really play without "soloing". He slips naturally in and out of playing a melody or a riff, and playing lead. Itīs not slick but beautiful (can I use that word?), a lot of emotion is put into the lead. That can be said for every song Motorpsycho does for that matter. It is emotionell music.
   The music is a little too well produced to be directly compared with the lo-fi groups, but they have the same heartfelt directness and originality. And the Motorpsychos are talented instrumentalists; it might be direct but itīs not simple, and they can handle improvisation.
   One of the highlights on this album for me is the song True Middle, where the recorded poetry of american poet Matt Burt is played back over a meditative and hypnotic track, and in between verses the music blooms only to fall back to the gentle tapping on guitars for the next verse. Matt records his poetry on a dictaphone, and the sound and the whole air of the song is so suggestive that I was obsessed by it for weeks.

The opening lines:

This life, unfullfilled for so many
The reflection of automobiles
Like the slowly expanding mercury of the thermometer
Cross sideways in the tinted sunglasses
of a large, bearded man on a streetcorner
Staring blankly off into the distance
The remains of his half eaten ice cream stick
drips slowly, drop by melting drop
parachuteless on to his white tennis shues
- - -

The lo-fi song on this one is Fools Gold, and it just breaks my heart every time I listen to it, itīs so powerfull. You can really feel this guyīs pain. The covers and CD inlays also add to the atmosphere of the music - very artfull.

Motorpscho in 1997  

The story of the name Motorpsycho goes as follows: The guys strolled around in London and caught sight of a movie theater showing a Russ Meyer trilogy. Faster Pussycat Kill Kill, Mudhoney and (you guessed it) Motorpsycho. They figured they couldnīt be as bas as Faster Pussycat, and if they worked at it they could be as good as Mudhoney. Motorpsycho it was.

Angels and Daemons at Play came out in -97 and differs a little from Timothyīs and Blissard. Itīs very dark. The CD booklet is downright depressing, and it has songs to match. A few songs remind you of the Motorpsycho of old, but itīs definately a different kind of teenage angst than presented on earlier records. Only EP title track Starmelt / Lovelight brightens the day. Other great songs are In the Family and Like Always.
   Allthough a great record, not a first pick. Perfect background music for selfpity and fits of depression. Interestingly, this one also has a hidden track in front of track 1, plus the fact that it feauters a song titled Timothyīs Monster. (I think if you get this CD for someones birthday, itīs considered an act of war in some contries...)

Trust me when I tell you Trust Us is as good an album as youīll ever find. Released in -98, another double CD, and another full pointer. Not so much "indie" as Timothyīs and Blissard, some hardcore stoner rockers actually take this one to heart, due to the heavy riffage on a couple of the songs.
   Here they perfect the art of dynamics in music, and as you might remember from the beginning of this observation, songs like Vortex Surfer really sneak up on you and explode in your face. The second half of the first CD has got to be my favorite triplet of songs ever on a record: The Ocean in her Eyes, Vortex Surfer, Siddhardtino (short prelude) and 577. Lengthy compositions with emotionell peaks and valleys, and segments of full blown improvisation, not to speak of the orgasms of semi-distorted guitars thrashing away (beautiful big broken chords) in a desperate attempt to give voice to the frustration they are surely trying to convey. It works for me.
   In the studio they miked up the instruments and put them thru a PA, and recorded both the direct sound of the instruments, plus they miked the PA speakers and eased that into the mix. The result is a very loud sensation, even if youīre playing it at moderate volume. Anyway, the music is so dynamicly mixed that you have to play it loud to catch the quieter sections. Most songs has some kind of keyboards on them: mellotron, vibraphone, rhodes, harmonium, moogs and stuff like that. And alot of other odd instruments like theremin, electric sitar, brass, saw(!), reindeer antler(!!) and much more. Makes it all the more interesting to listen to. Guitarists will be interested in knowing that they use alot of different tunings.

A documetary has been made, called This is Motorpsycho, but is quite hard to get hold of by now, but if you get a chance to lay your hands on a copy, donīt hesitate; some interviews, some live performances, some videos all make it a valuable piece of merchandise.

Space is the place, but until then weīll have to make do with Godīs green earth and great bands like Motorpsycho - heja Norge!!!


Pics and stuff from Motorpsycho unofficial homepage