Camp Motorpsycho » General

Some help with a school assignment?

(10 posts)
  • Started 8 years ago by Octopuseses
  • Latest reply from supernaut
  1. Octopuseses

    Evening, psychonauts.

    Since it seems some of you guys know MP's story quite well, I thought you would be the best to ask for some help.

    I'd like to look at Motorpsycho's musical development in my school assignment. What happened to their music, and why? From punk metal through folk rock through indie pop to spacey jam rock.

    So what i'm asking is: Could somebody help me map their musical styles in some kind of a timeline?

    Thanks in advance!

    Posted 8 years ago #
  2. supernaut

    good luck with that.

    Because there's not much of a linearity there when it comes to styles and genres. To me, they always did everything. The "punk metal through folk rock through indie pop to spacey jam rock", all of it has always been happening. They dropped the little metal they had quite early on and the pop was stronger around the turn of the millenium than in other times but other than that, MP's musical development seems to go all over the place back and forth in time. Not in a line, but from a starting dot that grows to a circle in all directions around it and sometimes shrinks back again only to expand or hop to the left or right. One has to blend out a lot of "buts" and exceptions to draw one straight line. One reason to make it pretty much impossible to anticipate the next step they'd take.

    Musically though there is a few observations to be made. The shift to (more) odd meters when Kenneth joined. Snah's part in singing grew over the years. And the harmonies and therefore the compositions became more sophisticated, too, but that's a normal thing for any open minded musician.

    About the whys? MP is a sponge. It digests everything that sounds interesting to it and spits it out again with tons of an own character, no matter what genre. From 30/30 to Feedtime to Coventry Boy to Starmelt to Oh Proteus. They are fearless (Fishtank, Roadwork III, Unicorn) and shameless (Tussler, Neverland, Go To California) It's just a way of doing things, just like Fripp said about his mighty band.

    Blahblah... that's of no big "help" but maybe you want to make an assigment based on their nonlinear and unique development as opposed to the standard careers of other artists?

    Posted 8 years ago #
  3. Octopuseses

    Haha, that's a nice way to see it. Thanks Supernaut
    My point in this assignment is kind of: Why isn't Motorpsycho just another rock band? What makes them special as opposed to other rock bands?
    This is where their drastic musical shifts come in.. And I also find it very interesting how they could play any style of music, but still maintain that sound of Motorpsycho that you just recognize right away.. So i'd like to put my finger on what the actual elements are, that makes them so unique and recognizable!

    Of course, their list of musical references is endless, and ever growing, and they seem to like to try new stuff out as they get "introduced to new stuff", and therefore their musical development is kinda drastic and sort of spontaneous.
    Since this is a school assignment and it has to be as objective as possible (I know this might be unfair to Motorpsycho), it might be an idea to kind of analyze their development from start to today. Of course, their style has always incorporated tons of elements that stay with them along the way, but I would say you can't miss the fact that they have had "periods", in the loosest way possible. If i'm not mistaken, they had their poppiest period just before/after Y2K? Blissard with its indie pop-ish touch, Phanerothyme with its excellent americano pop, Let Them Eat Cake?

    Also I in a way find Angels and Daemons at Play to be some kind of culmination of all their impulses. Hard rock, pop, noise, jazz.
    And also, they have had several albums lately with a really rocked out, riff-based base. I suspect this is Kenneth's work though, so that makes sense.

    I doubt I make myself clear enough here.. The "periods" i'm looking for don't have to be specific down to detail, as long as there are some rough lines, with some examples here and there that would be good enough for this assignment.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  4. Andreas the Totenoid

    I think Johan Harstad did some good work with that in the Blissard-book - pinpointing the evolvement of Motorpsycho. Especially the first years, and why the music and style changed like it did. That´s a good place to start!

    And, I would put Tussler more on the fearless side than the shameless side. Country wasn´t kosher 20 years ago

    Posted 8 years ago #
  5. ThorEgil

    It might also be a help to look at which direction the side projects of the different members are going;
    Gebhardt - Country/Jazz with his HGH project, but also music for kids with HGH's terrific alter ego "Meg og kammeraten min" (Me and my mate).
    Bent - also country with Sugarfoot and The South (producer), also straight rock'n rolla with Spidergawd, Ryanbanden, Dumdumboys (producer). Pop with DeLillos (producer).
    Snah is pulling more in the avantgarde/jazz direction, lately Bol, Møster. Also straighter stuff like Soup (producer).
    Kenneth is all over the place. Noise/metal with Monolithic, Folk/metal with Gåte, jazz with Møster... just take a look at his gigs this year over at I gave up counting all the different projects he's involved in.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  6. miss_t

    if you want to make it objective and stick to their albums (cause that seems what you want to measure, right?) then why dont do a small analysis of album reviews (lets say 3 per album or so) over the years counting for tags like "jam rock" "improvisation" "metal" "punk" "noise" or whatever?

    to me the magic lies more in the live experience, less in the albums. there are bands with more coherent albums, especially in the psychedelic rock scene (to which i would broadly assing mp), more like concept albums, telling a story. of course count out the unicorn from that statement.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  7. BronYAur

    In Italy, the estabilishment and educational level still sticks the word "rock" with "drugs" and generic "depravation", so it's very hard for me just to think about any school assignment involving "rock" in any way different from "sin and -possibly- repent"!
    You lucky northern people!

    Apart from this, I agree with miss_t about the MP live experience, which is exactly, and in the more objective possible way, the real difference between MP and the rest-of-the-world, much more than the discography.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  8. supernaut

    In Italy, the estabilishment and educational level still sticks the word "rock" with "drugs" and generic "depravation",

    they have to keep people's attention off politics.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  9. supernaut

    My point in this assignment is kind of: Why isn't Motorpsycho just another rock band? What makes them special as opposed to other rock bands?

    Some bands just copy their idols. There's one Dinosaur Jr or Kyuss or Sonic Youth popping up and immediately there's herds of non original b-quality copycats behind them. Others don't copy one band but just dwell in one genre and keep to its rules and regulations in danger of becoming redundant. At the best, they're able to write great songs within genre restrictions, so they might be quite enjoyable nevertheless.

    Motorpsycho don't give a shit. They are - as written before - a sponge sucking up everything they like and find interesting all over the place. Now they're not so alone in this but their big advantage is, that they have a) an effing fantastic taste and b) don't give a shit about what's "cool". They play Deep Purple and Queen as encores and merge Miles Davis with Sonic Youth, traces of Helmet with the Beach Boys but not randomly just for the hell and laughs of it (well maybe the latter... who knows what a MP rehearsal is like ). They seem to do so very carefully with a deep musical wisdom and therefore know how and why what works. In one word: they are fearless. Into the void we must travel.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  10. supernaut

    For a straightforward assignement, you might want to keep all the EPs, Live records and collaborations aside. Considering only the "proper" releases, some sort of a musical story to grasp becomes more visible. But then again, how truly Motorpsycho would that be?

    Posted 8 years ago #

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