Camp Motorpsycho » General

Oh how I miss that Motorpsychodelic heaviness...

(53 posts)
  • Started 7 months ago by Hans Boller
  • Latest reply from supernaut


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  1. Hans Boller

    Fellow Psychonauts! Like most of you I'm looking forward to the new music Snah and company are recording at the moment. We all know that the boys are cooking up something good, and will charm us with their take on classic vintage sounds inspired by the likes of Yes and the Grateful Dead. Still, whenever I listen to Motorpsycho's new records, I am reminded why their early output, let's say from 1989 to 1994, holds a special place in my heart and will probably always constitute my favourite period of theirs. Excuse me if this is gonna be a bit of a long-whinded explanation, but this beautiful space on the internets is all about nerding out, innit, so bear with me (if you haven't already stopped reading...)!

    Motorpsycho is my favourite band because they deal in emotional extremes. An album like Behind the Sun features the incredibyly sad ballad Entropy as well as the exuberant stoner rocker Hell Part 7. The band will probably always write Black Sabbath riffs as well as folky ballads with beautifully arranged polyphonic vocals, they'll come up with songs about loss as well as triumphant moments, so heaviness and lightness will be present, sonically as well as emotionally. Still, when I listen to an album like Demon Box, I'm enthralled by the sheer aggressiveness which the band nowadays simply doesn't provide. To me, Motorpsycho's third and fourth album are THE pinnacle in their catalogue because they feature incredible songwriting coupled with sonic extremes which up until that point hadn't been covered by one and the same band (Correct me if I'm wrong!). Some bands were incredibly heavy, others were beautifully soft and melodic, Motorpsycho were both, and they were surpassing their models at both ends of the spectrum. Demon Box features Bent screaming his head off for minutes on end, sounding like he is about to snap, while playing (or rather beating?) a heavily distorted bass tuned down to C#. Oh that sweet, sweet tone, crushing and marvelous, paralleled only by the sounds created by the great G.C. Green! On the other hand, Mr Saether can be heard quietly singing the depressingly wistful Come On In into a dictaphone, accompanied by only himself on acoustic guitar. Now that's what I call "light and shade"!

    I had already bought AADAP and BH/BC, and I was a fan, but MP became my favourite group when I heard that opening salvo of Waiting for the One/Nothing to Say/Feedtime. The latter with its complex yet groovy and catchy riffing, that almost mathematical chug, reminded me of another 90s favourite of mine, the incredibly influential Helmet. Page Hamilton had already mastered the art of coupling almost machine-like rhythms and strangely addicting screamed/sung vocal lines,yet Helmet would never open an album with a heartbreaking acoustic tune. I was hooked and have never recovered from that first encounter with that demonic treasure chest of 17-minute noise metal manifestos and pop ditties.

    And don't get me wrong, I'd never want the band to write any music they feel doesn't represent them right here, right now. They scrapped most of the "metal" tunes on the first version of TM even back in 94, probably because they felt they had already been there, done that and only wanted us to hear the crushing Grindstone, maybe because it topped everything they had put out before in terms of sheer brutality. They then moved on and started exploring other sonic landscapes, and I'm glad they did. They're simply not angry young men anymore, Bent doesn't seem to be as confused as back in '93 and I'm happy for the guy! Still, I often wish they'd play more tunes in C#,not only the occasional Nothing to Say or Mountain. That would be a great counterbalance to the psychedelic meandering of le chien and the like. Yes, boys and girls, I legitimately lost my sh*t when they blessed us with both Feedtime and Junior back to back on the 2016 tour! And I often wish they would release a disc as radical and crushing as the Mountain EP, just hit us over the head with that good old metallic club!

    So what do you think, comrades, friends, brothers in arms? Do you agree that Motorpsycho's version of President Block is the greatest cover version ever (Great Tom Morello-esque scratching there, Hans Magnus, and oh my god, that orgasmic finale of the intertwined voices!)? Would you break down and thank the horned-one if you ever heard Demon Box as a more-or-less regularly-played song on tour (Yes, I know it needs the Prod!)? Do you want to bellow along to Home of the Brave and Sheer Profundity? Do you agree that there is no band out there that could allow itself to shelve such a masterpiece as Lake Innersfree? Or are you glad that the days of Das Hate Bass are long gone? Do you simply not care?

    Looking forward to reading from you!

    Posted 7 months ago #
  2. mybestfriend83

    To me Songs like Grindstone and other Heavy Metal pieces are not fitting my type of musical Taste.. I rather prefer albums like Phanerothyme or Ltec... I guess I never was into that angry young man thing... But I too like newer Songs like Mutiny on TDDU if you could call them heavy... Sorry Dude.. 😂
    But It is something different if the play it these days.. If they playing for example Grindstone these days with all the skills they collected over the years it's somehow different and I could listen as well...

    Posted 7 months ago #
  3. Hans Boller

    Nothing to feel sorry for, mate, I'm just interested in your opinion! Everyone has their own taste, and I think it's great that MP attract fans with such different tastes. There is something for almost everyone! I love Phanerothyme and LTEC as well! I just think it's a pity that they still write songs in the vein of Landslide but won't release Flesh Harrower Part 2

    Posted 7 months ago #
  4. Kid A

    It´s funny, that you mention Helmet, because that´s exactly what feedtime is Especially if you ever heard Helmet´s Page Hamilton scream "In the Meantime!"
    I must admit, sometimes I miss the heaviness, but not the Feedtime-Gutwrech-Heaviness but the somewhat tamer grungy heaviness of "Junior", "Plan #1", "Leave it like that", "HA Mac" or "Back to Source" (miss the Black To Comm encores of the 90s as well ).
    I think Bartok is as close as we will get nowadays.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  5. JERO

    Oh yeah! Helmet! I love that and except for fuel, need it to drive my car to work, absolutely my 2nd fave sonic heroes that never lose their magic...As for the early heavy MP songs, love them very much, and always get back to them, it's a question of the energy and mood I'm in. When I bought the Demon Box box and wigged out to Loaded (live) I even gave their first albums another try (don't like the way they're produced although most songs are great)! But, then was then (and forever here) and now is now, and the latest developments of the band are so great, I have a feeling in ten years we may be talking like "don't you miss that fantastic Tower-era ?!!
    We are just so lucky to enjoy all the diversity of MP. I hope they keep on exploring as is in their nature and won't repeat themselves (not talking about playing old stuff live, because that's always astonishing fresh and never "let's play it like it is on the record!)

    Posted 7 months ago #
  6. mister conclusion

    Yes, Helmet. "Meantime" was pretty big at the time when Demon Box was recorded so the band has surely got some inspiration from Helmet.

    And funny enough, just a few days ago I have listened to President Block again and thought about what a fantastic cover version it is. I also like the original version by the Epinastic Movements and the way MP just nailed this song. It is sung by Deathprod in case you didn't know.

    Your questions:
    Yes, President Block is at least one of the most beautiful cover versions I know.
    Yes, Demon Box live would be something. In 2008 I have travelled to Oslo just to see a concert with MP and Deathprod (shortest setlist ever: K9 and Demon Box). The version on the Box Full Of Demons is fantastic, especially watching it from the Blueray. Very impressive. But it requires Deathprod, so...
    Home Of The Brave and Sheer Profoundity: can also be seen in the box. Nice, but I think the band has gotten better in songwriting.

    As you already mentioned, the band has grown older, and so have I. Many years ago I have asked Bent why they did not perform Feedtime anymore. He laughed and said something like they were not physically able to play it. And in some interview he said that the band does not feel the urge to scream their audience in the face like in the old days. He might be right. It was great to hear Feedtime during the autumn tour, but it had turned to some fun thing in the end, hadn't it?

    The thing is, I have gladly followed MP during everything they have done and developed into during the last decades and I don't need them to go back to the old days. It is wonderful to get some Feedtime, Junior or HA Mac from time to time, but the best thing is that they are able to release somthing like The Tower after nearly thirty years of band history and to explore and develop that new stuff during many shows. I am not sure I would really enjoy new "angry old men songs". Would feel a bit like they were posers. I am so glad they aren't.

    And I am convinced that the next record will be just sensational. So no need to complain. Or to get wistful...

    Posted 7 months ago #
  7. Hans Boller

    I'm glad to encounter some fellow Helmet-heads on this forum! I guess they were somewhat of an influence in the early days, I mean the dropped-d tuning coupled with the bone dry guitar sound was unheard of in the late eighties and everyone who played heavier rock was directly or indirectly influenced by Hamilton's riffing, from Entombed to Carcass and Pantera.

    Just checked some older interviews with Bent from the Demon Box era and he said that he liked the band but thought that its songs sounded too much alike: "... one you've heard one song, you know all of their songs." To me that's a bit of an exaggeration, but unlike Motorpsycho, Helmet have never really been an album band to me. Many of their songs are outstanding, but there is always a bit of filler on their records, so yeah, I see where Mr Saether is coming from. But he can permit himself to have a big mouth, after all he is one of the best songwriters of his generation...

    @mister conclusion: Thanks for your insights, mate! I know what you mean, writing some more aggressive songs might become embarassing, but only if you're faking it. I don't think age has necessarily something to do with your capabilities to write "brutal" stuff, it just depends on what kind of a person you are. I mean, the new Godflesh record crushes everything released under the banner of extreme metal nowadays and those guys are in their 40s and 50s, respectively. But if Bent doesn't feel the need to write some more stuff in the vein of Feedtime, that is totally fine with me, I'll even go see them if they play two-hour acoustic sets. I'd just enjoy them even more if they played and/or recorded more "metal" songs. So yeah, hearing them perform Feedtime live was definitely fun, but in a good way (at least for me)! Hearing something like a ten-minute version of Grindstone as well as the melancholic softness of Lacuna/Sunrise at the same concert seems like pure bliss to this old dog!

    Posted 7 months ago #
  8. Rune

    Oh, how I would love to hear Sheer Profundity again! And Home of the Brave!
    The House at Pooneil Corners.

    Oh well, it's not like I have any hair to headbang with anymore, so I guess it's all for the best.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  9. pfnuesel

    Loved every line you wrote, Hans Boller.

    As others already said, most important is that they do what they feel like, not what we feel like. It's strange that so many bands don't get that. Motorpsycho does.

    I hope they are happy. For the music, I wouldn't mind, for them to again have some angry youth in them.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  10. supernaut

    I don't miss anything because it's all there to listen to, and hey, there's A Boxful Of Demons, too. Would a Sheer Profoundity type song written and played in 2018 top the old one? That was young fervour and attitude. Now they have old class and attitude. Their heavyness nowadays is different as 50 year old rockers and it shows in Through The Veil (oh I WOULD love them to do a Unicorn sequel!) or not so obviously in The Promise or Ship Of Fools. Intricate heavyness with an ear for detail and no desire to repeat the olde days. AC/DC this is not. And seeing them live since '95 I'd even say nowadays they're heavier than ever. It's just the playing and writing that have become more sophisticated. So you probably miss some sort of primitive ooomph, which I can totally relate to. But as said, there's the old records to go back to. And not too few, luckily. I did miss a bit what you seem to be missing now during the Cake/Lovecult phase (then again, the 2002 Norsemen DVD is massive as fuck), but ohmygod that's already a lifetime ago anyway.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  11. supernaut

    and also:

    Un massive monster Chien 2017 >>>>>>>>> Un petit chouchou 1997

    Posted 7 months ago #
  12. marc

    If there is anything i miss, it would be the harmonic interplay between bass and guitar which elevates the essential classics to extraordinary heights. Of course there is top-notch material on recent albums, but i find many of the newer songs to be too focused on classic riffing, soloing, proggy time signatures. What i always loved most about the band was that special Snah-kind of guitar playing on the verge between riffing and strumming, which leaves Bent just enough space to add melody, harmonic shifts or sheer sonic force.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  13. Bartok

    EDIT: This is long and widing:

    Thanks Hans for that beautiful text, and I so agree. Though for me that period would be cc 93-98 (how original...!). The reason is prob because I was hooked as a youth in 93 and developed a crush. On all levels. As you do in your teens. And it’s never left me, a bit sad but also pretty nice. A constant. That you can dip in and out of. And what a constant source of inpiration and comfort MP has been. Even though I don’t agree w all their choices. But I guess everyone who discovers MP at that age connects, be it in 93, 03 or 13. Maybe I don’t follow you into the Helmet-sphere (I was more of a Black Flag/Speed/Noise/Sonic Youth/Dinosaur Jr guy at that time, and amazed to realize I had a combination of all those in my neighborhood) though I do miss the urgency and intensity, though those years are over.

    I actually wanted to start a thread like this, but w the premise: what do the psychonauts who discovered MP in the Kenneth-era feel about those albums? What hooked them on? Maybe I’m going away from the thread, but anyway. It would be great to hear those stories.

    For me personally the Kenneth years were a bit of a blank, a lot of hit and miss, too much boneheaded rock (to [mis-] quote Bent in the Lydverket interview about LLM) though there are def highpoints on each record. The uniform design of the Rune universe also somehow doesn’t fit MP, even though it is Kim (I’m nerding out, but as you said, this is a free-space!) I can’t pinpoint the reason, but there’s something there. Though of course Rune is great. And Kim! And truly the right label for MP, just wish the packaging was a bit more ... unconventional, like MP. It’s all connected. And I wish those records were a bit more unconventional, ref the triplet you mentioned starting off DB (or TM!), but again, they follow their muse, and we follow them, where they go we go, into old age, maturity, whatever, like it or not. And it’s all pretty great? The concept albums w Storløkken were esp amazing though, the Unicorn, what a record, what a statement. Also emotional. Kudos to Kenneth, also on the church concerts, just great.

    Anyway, I guess I miss those years like I miss my youth, and they are part of my youth, I have the records and I’m glad things have moved on, and I’m happy they have moved on. That emotional bipolar urgency I felt connected to in their records 89-98 is gone (though they DO pop up now and again!), and I sometimes miss the directness, melodies, honesty and weirdness. I think this is also a lot due to Geb, and his force, dealing w the Siamese yin-yang couplings Bent & Snah, him really being forceful in his ideas and concepts and also an “original” MP member (a-propos another thread: Geb was the reason for TITS, without Geb I don’t think Tussler will ever reappear? Though we can all hope!) allowing weirdness into MP, a position I can only imagine it would be pretty hard for someone like Kenneth or Thomas to take. Or whoever. Being a new member in MP must really take guts, dealing w the legacy and at the same time developing it.

    But – all this said, the Tower is IMO a really GREAT record, the vids out on YouTube, the recent RW, all this gives me great hope of a new URGENCY! And the news about the new record, I can’t wait! (Though Lars Horntvedt? Ok, I’m not going to be negative, but that softness somehow didn’t fit MP IMO, but who knows, it’s 15 years(!) since the Jaga sessions, Lars must have moved on as well). I’m positive! The muse is afloat and in space!

    And President Block! Don’t get me started about the vocals!

    This became a long text, hope I didn’t kill the thread. ❤️

    Kid A, Marc & Supernaut et al: I couldn’t agree more.. Old class and attitude, and the Snah Bent interplay, that’s it.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  14. shakti

    Bartok nailed it; URGENCY! It's the (somewhat) missing ingredient since the late 90s, which has only occasionally been detectable since then, but returned with a vengeance on The Tower. Horntvedt or not, I am very excited about the upcoming record.

    I think it is almost impossible for any band to maintain the same level of excellence and urgency throughout a long career. We move on as individuals and the band moves on as an entity, going through phases where different things are important. Motorpsycho from their inception and through 1998 was riding the crest of a wave, reaching unmatched heights. It was impossible to keep that level of urgency, even though one could argue that they have maintainted their level of excellence to an admirable extent. But again, with The Tower, they tapped into some of that same bank of inspiration, and it came out sounding urgent and important.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  15. Bartok

    @Shakti ❤️

    Posted 7 months ago #
  16. Neil Tesor

    I remember reading some years ago that Bent said he had grew uninterested in metal or something like that, witch I find somehow strange since he seem to be very up to date in the underground metal scene. They might have got stuck in that spaced-out-prog-rock-70's- sound without noticing themselves... I think they should have focused more on heaviness and just the RIFF, and less on details in the music and noodling , and gotten to be one of the greatest underground bands of this time! I still love what the guys do, and it's way better than most bands could except to do in a lifetime, but I stilll feel they don't exploit their full potensial.. They should do at least 3-4 releases a year, and they should do more experimental "out there" 10" EP's!

    Posted 7 months ago #
  17. Great King Rat

    What i always loved most about the band was that special Snah-kind of guitar playing on the verge between riffing and strumming, which leaves Bent just enough space to add melody, harmonic shifts or sheer sonic force.
    Couldn't agree more!

    While there might be heavy songs on each album (except for the cake era, maybe) it's a certain 'simplicity' - in the best sense! - combined with that old heaviness that I miss. I thought Feedtime was the highlight of the 2016 shows, and I prefer songs like that over Hell anytime. Maybe it's an age thing that I've come to find those recent very complex song structures rather tiring.

    Urgency is a great term indeed! And I just thought, that's something I miss with regard to another aspect - melody! Or maybe freshness/rawness would apply better here. On each record from the 90s there are melodies that I have completely absorbed and will stay with me and touch me till I'm dead. There are only very few tunes from the later eras that move me in the same way. Of course, that's highly subjective, but I still feel there was a different quality to those melodies back then. Or is that due to the guys being older and more settled? Or can't you assess that objectively at all? Or am I just a boring old fart that's stuck in the past? Help?

    Posted 7 months ago #
  18. pfnuesel

    For those of you that feel there's something missing nowadays, and only find few new songs touching them the way they did in the 90's. What songs from the post-Geb area would that be?

    Posted 7 months ago #
  19. JERO

    How about The Alchemyst(Little Lucid Moments)?!! especially the grand finale!!!
    Also, for me, a lot of songs on BlackHoleWhiteCanvas, for example You Lose&Before The Flood, and Sail On ! Talk about putting in that drive and emotion and riffs and melody!

    Posted 7 months ago #
  20. marc

    The Alchemyst also came to my mind quickly. But of course many more.

    I agree with the melodies,the big choruses that stick with you forever. Songs where I cannot imagine that there ever was a time they didn't yet exist. It sounds weird since there is no real range of notes coming out of a drumkit, but Geb was a very melodic player and his style was i think essential for that urgency. There i said it...i thought i was over it haha

    Posted 7 months ago #
  21. grindove

    I'm not sure I miss "that Motorpsychodelic heaviness". I mean, I love some of their old heavy stuff, but not for the SAKE of the heaviness. "Sheer profoundity" - no thanks! Sorry, but I just don't think "Demon box" as a whole album is that solid masterpiece as a lot of you guys seem to do. The good songs on it are amazing, though!

    This might seem weird: Motorpsycho is my ALL TIME FAVORITE BAND IN THE WORLD, but they've never done an album that I think is brilliant from start to finish. Sometimes I'm disappointed with their new album - due to my expectations or their "new direction" - but so far (being a fan since "Timothy's monster") it's never been BAD, and in a couple of occasions I've enjoyed that "disappointing new album" a few years after its release.

    As long as they SURPRISE me, I won't miss "that Motorpsychodelic heaviness", or anything else they've done in the past. As someone wrote above: those songs/albums are still there to listen to. (Tried really hard to not get too off topic )

    Posted 7 months ago #
  22. Great King Rat

    Post-Geb hits for me: The Alchemyst, Year Zero, possibly Hyena and The Promise. But that's it, really.

    @ marc: I think I know what you mean by calling Geb's drumming melodic, though I wouldn't have used that word. The best word imho that describes his style is groovy. He was/is such a groovy drummer. A friend of mine put it this way: Geb groovt sogar beim Scheißen /Geb's even grooving when taking a crap.

    @ grindove:

    but they've never done an album that I think is brilliant from start to finish.

    Really? Not even Timothy's Monster? Trust us? Blissard?

    Posted 7 months ago #
  23. grindove

    @ Great King Rat:
    I'll get back to this on Sunday. At the moment too much party, and work too soon (as always on Saturdays)

    Posted 7 months ago #
  24. mybestfriend83

    @greatkingrat and the other's

    "What i always loved most about the band was that special Snah-kind of guitar playing on the verge between riffing and strumming".

    That was exactly one of the points who made Snahs guitar sounds made me feel so different from others... Very special cause he definitely influenced my own guitar style a lot with that kind of playing..

    Posted 7 months ago #
  25. supernaut

    marc - What i always loved most about the band was that special Snah-kind of guitar playing on the verge between riffing and strumming, which leaves Bent just enough space to add melody, harmonic shifts or sheer sonic force.

    that certain sound in Kill Some Day, Plan #1, Starmelt and the like? Yup that's what got me hooked originally. This sonic magic, half buried in, half shining because of underproduction. The recordings weren't hammering your face with cinemascopic 90s alternative rock mixing. There was always stuff to discover on the 56th listen. But what if they had not evolved at all in 20 years? I don't think I'd like their music as much as I do. The excitement of the new and unexpected. It's all about their influences and tastes which are too multidimensional to keep repeating one formula.

    I do wonder how people reacted to Timothy's Monster who got into them way later on, be that with Love Cult or HMF for example... It's a funny thing with that one. It's very lo-fi, the mixing is quite unconventional, and although Trust Us or The Tower do sound better from a common viewpoint, everytime I listen to it I think it sounds perfect and huge and intimate and should be the industry standard to aspire to. Though of course creatively there should never be such a thing.

    And on a side note, this being a somewhat nostalgic thread, I'd like to point out that to me Kenneth is/was AWESOME and was a blessing for the band!

    Posted 7 months ago #
  26. Kid A

    or those of you that feel there's something missing nowadays, and only find few new songs touching them the way they did in the 90's. What songs from the post-Geb area would that be?

    I really love Lacuna, that’s again the melody that’s been mentioned before. That’s one that sticks. Hyena got this TM vibe in the melody, but I always found BHBC so poor in general sound, it’s nothing that could really touch me. The missing drummer got this one down, though there’s a lot of fine songwriting on the album. And Hell Pt. 4-6. I wish they‘d develop this whole Hell thing into something really outstanding. I think there’s a lot of unused potential in this.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  27. Ercarnar

    I might disappoint with my answer, but I really enjoy almost each direction the band takes with every album.
    And by that I don't mean I'm one of those who take everything their favourite band does as pure gold and glorifies it, I simply think that most of the things they do, they really do them good.

    I like their proggy and spaced-out stuff A LOT, so the last records (from Little Lucid Moments) are really my favourites, and I must admit I'm not a great fan of their 90s records; of course there are MANY songs I love from that period too, but not entire albums.

    "The Tower", for example, surprised me both in a positive and "not-so-negative" way:
    -positive because I loved Kenneth's drumming, and even if quite different, Thomas' one is really great too!
    -positive because there are some really SICK tracks
    -negative because it felt -to me- like they might have experimented a bit more...BUT the live shows confirmed that they're more than ready to do that, real disappointment!

    As Bent and Snah told in the interwiew that has been translated in another thread, they don't like to repeat themselves. I think that's the reason why you might not find that kind of heavyness in their new stuff, but different shades of it.
    And man, those shades are all beautiful!

    Posted 7 months ago #
  28. Punj Lizard

    This is such a great thread. I'm just absolutely loving all the comments. The timing of the thread has been perfect for me as a few days before Hans' opening post I finally listened to Lobotomizer for the first time, having listened to 8 Soothing Songs for Rut once a few weeks back. For the past few days, then, I've now been listening to both those albums quite a bit and of course following through to Demon Box, which I'd only listened to maybe three or four times. It's so amazing to follow the band's progress/evolution from one album to the next, to see the leap they made from Lobotomizer to 8SSFR to DB to TM and so on.

    DB seemed to indicate a band refusing to be pigeonholed, possibly at that stage in their careers, afraid to be put in a (Demon) box. But when you're a young band, just getting started, it's hard to show the world you're not what they think you are. By releasing an album (nay, a double album) full of such variety, and starting with a song that bears no resemblance to what went before, that takes courage, determination, self-confidence and a general kind of 'fuck you' to whoever might want to stick a genre label on them. And I think to some degree they've managed to maintain that attitude. But it seems to me, that having made two albums (DM, TM) full of twists and turns - this sound, that style, those genres - they decided to start smoothing out the edges a bit and making albums that felt more coherent. Perhaps they felt they had achieved what they wanted, had made the statement they wanted to make - that they are not one-trick ponies, they are not a 'metal' band or whatever they were being sold as.

    What they are to me is a band that has the brilliance to pull off whatever genre they like because they have the songwriting and playing skills, not to mention an apparent love of all music styles, to pull it off. They not only want to say, 'fuck you, we're doing what we want', but also 'we're doing it our way', which is an attitude that seeps into all aspects of their playing, writing, recording, perfomance, and so on.

    I'm too late to the feast to be able to say I miss the heaviness and mayhem of Lobotomizer, 8SSFR and DB, or the lo-fi production of TM and Blissard, though I do appreciate the point about urgency. However, I dont think the fire has gone out, not by any stretch. Whether anybody else here felt it or not, I have to say that the Roadburn gig seemed full of fire and urgency. It was like they came to the audience saying "ok you got all these freaky metal bands here but this is what mind-blowing heavy rock sounds like when your focus is getting high on the music and not trying to put across some kind of image or specific style or concept or gimic". To me they are a band's band. They set a standard, not by trying to be amazing or by trying to set a standard, but by just following their muse and being themselves. That's invaluable. And if their style, choices and music changes in response to that, I don't care. The biggest thing I would be worried about losing would not be any one style or sound, but the sense of adventure, the desire to always be creative.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  29. Johnny_Heartfield

    Is there really something to miss? Things happen when they happen and we're lucky enough when they're good when they are good. Yes - I do consider Trust Us the best MP album by far - and yet there's so much fantastic stuff on most of the records that came after it, whoever the drummer at the time (with the exception of BH/BC which I will probably never consider a satisfying MP album, although there are so many great songs on it).

    Recapturing the last gigs and the last two regular tours I was attending there was almost too much heaviness involved for me - especially on the somewhat ill-fated 2016 tour.
    Too much Demon Box material in the wrong place in the set - killed the joy, made the gigs too long and was just too exhausting for me. That screaming alternative/hardcore/crossover Metal of the early years - a juvenile phase they had to go through, but please - concentrate on the few pearls from that time!
    I learned to treasure Demon Box as an album after the re-release and the inclusion of "Mountain" - but please: No more fuckin' "Feedtime" in the middle of the set!

    This is of course just my opinion - feel free to disagree! My point is rather this - whatever satisfying or disappointing the latest MP album might be - it is the gigs they're obviously living for, and you can feel it. And - they got better and better over the years! I consider the concerts I attended - and listend to - between 2013 and 2017 their absolute very best time on stage (especially when they were four...).
    For me the exciting live band that MP became started in 1996-97 at the earliest and grew steadily to the kind of concert monster we have today - never mind the odd disappointment in a series of sheer musical bliss.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  30. Bartok

    Supernaut: “that certain sound in Kill Some Day, Plan #1, Starmelt and the like? Yup that's what got me hooked originally. This sonic magic, half buried in, half shining because of underproduction. The recordings weren't hammering your face with cinemascopic 90s alternative rock mixing.”

    Word! And of course the ✨melodies✨ which they seemed to be channeling at that time. Like all greats. And yes, Kill Some Day was my gateway drug. More than Jr, Feedtime, Come on in, DB (the song), Plan #1 and well, all of DB actually lol, this very song literally BLEW my teenage mind. (BTW, listened to the throwaway Baby Jesus II the other day on a MP nostalgia binge, even that song is a gem, and even Sanderfinger didn’t ruin it entirely;).

    I really feel that the production on those records are close to magic, it’s like abstract painting, you sense the groove, the expression, the emotion, the discord. And the way they had a low singing voice on top of a high one (Trapdoor comes to mind, the moment the bass comes in: goosebumps) is just great, also acoustic guitars w electrics, mm! And the guitar-threading on Blissard.. so so nice. Ref the interview Punj linked to in another thread w Scheps, he was amazed about the production in those early records. Which might be a good sign regarding the new humdinger:)

    New great songs post-Geb? Too many to mention, but of course Year Zero, Lacuna, I actually really like Ghost (I sometimes cringe at this particular version of emo-Bent (ref IALC) but this one works for me, the bass and guitar riff-thingy, I’m also a sucker for Painting the Night Unreal, the bass-playing on that song is just mind blowing, I even buy the sheriff line when delivered so convincingly, hehe, though the (underrated!) Phanerothyme is off-topic), the Tower, the Unicorn, Starhammer! That riff, wow, esp live. Hyena is a hit in the Hey Jane vein though I find it a bit too formulaic. But a good song, nice rhythm. The 29th bulletin (somehow reminiscent of Radience Freq.? Though not at all *there*). You Lose (nice drive, nice bridge) though yes, BHBC is a bit lacking in production. A record I rarely listen to due to my stereo situation is Child of the Future, but there are some great songs on that one. LLM is pretty great all over. And loads more.

    Anyway, as I mentioned earlier I melted w MP in the 90s so for me those records are absolutely unmatchable from start to finish. They are in my DNA by now. But I do of course love the mature MP. And they are still heavier than heaven.

    Lobotomizer to DB is an escalating joy to listen to, somewhat pubescent (esp lyrically), the band (re-)defining and finding themselves in public I guess? (Maiden Voyage is pretty pretty great though, Queen Chinee, How was I to Know, Blueberry: Superior to Lobotomizer!). But somehow the songwriting and production in this era didn’t match the ambition. Yet! Then came the mighty Monster and Bam! Full blown melodic and lyrical maturity. Something must have happened in that transition, not acid (lol;) but *something*, some new awareness, new inspiration. Let’s leave that to future biographers and researchers.

    As a sidenote, for me the hardest thing to relate to in the MP discography is the hippie stuff like Go to California, Spin spin blah, and although some of this is evident on the Tower (the Maypole: “solstice ritual” “children singing”, “midsummer mayhem”, “fairy queens”, “a sight beyond compare” I dunno Bent...) they somehow land on the right side of things, maybe due to the changes in the melody. For me!;)

    So much more I wanted to write, so many great comments. And nice to read Ercarnars post, about connecting most w the Kenneth era, that’s exactly how it should be. And all this nostalgia aside, MP has always been about the NOW, luckily.

    And yes, as someone said, MP is really a live-band, that’s when everything falls into place, whatever year, whatever constellation. Hoping to see the Drammen gig w elephant 9, should be good!!!

    Posted 7 months ago #

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