[record reviews: barracuda mini-lp]


Review of Barracuda taken from the
Italian magazine
RUMORE, March 2001.
English translation done by Sunchild, slightly reworked with the dear help of Leslie Hadlock.


The difference between Motorpsycho and all the other bands is simple: they are, first and foremost, fond of rock music, in all its incarnations. They like to journey through styles. They've consistently kept this genuine enthusiasm for music, never worrying about either their image or being part of some music scene. Motorpsycho has always liked surprising their fans. Just as they recorded an album breathing rarefied jazz atmospheres (the last Roadwork), now there's a new album that sees them diving into nothing but torrid hard rock / soul grooves.

This is the case with Barracuda, the new studio album, that, once again, doesn't fail to captivate us.

Sweeping away the indie slackness from their last cd, the three Norwegians come back in hard band style, with a really specific perspective this time. Do you remember "High Time" by MC5, the album where the Detroit five-piece blended their high energy rock with soul, using horn arrangements? Well, thanks to Motorpsycho we can reevaluate this MC5 period, usually put on a second level compared to the classic, blazing "Kick Out The Jam" [sic] era. The Trondheim trio succeeds with this blend. With their cold grooves, led by a raw and metallic bass, and with the big band arrangements where the horns are incredibly good (Star Star Star). However, the black feeling of Sæther's voice, which is so exciting this time around (Heartbreaker), stands out above it all. Never before have we regarded him as such a good singer.

With the exception of the last two songs, Dr. Hoffman's Bicycle and Glow, both oozing a typical English psychedelic joy (Tomorrow?), Barracuda is therefore the album where Motorpsycho return to the 'hard' line. Personally I was longing to see this. But be careful: we shouldn't be surprised if the band, with their next step, will decide to shuffle the cards again to try, say, an electronic post rock style ...

Claudio Sorge