[record reviews: tussler]

Motorpsycho: The Tussler

Review of The Tussler takenn from the
Norwegian e-zine
LUNA KAFÉ - Full Moon 4 - 1997-02-27.
In English.

The Tussler - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Stickman (Maximilianstr.30, 90429 Nurnberg, Ger.)

The Tussler was originally released in 1994, but first now this dusty jewel is finally available on vinyl, as a double 10". Appearantly The Tussler is the soundtrack from the forthcoming film of the same title, by director Theo Buhara. Neither Buhara nor the movie exists, but the cover art, featuring drawings of cattle and cowboys, is not musically deceptive. This is basically Motorpsycho playing around with various cliches from American country music and southern rock. Quite a step from their usual progressive-psychedelic-grunge.

As opposed to their "regular" albums, this one sounds like it could have been recorded in couple of days (maybe it was). It has a very dry and simple sound. Like an "unplugged" Motorpsycho, but also a totally different Motorpsycho. Although they include some songs from their earlier records, these versions blend into the overall playful feeling of the album. This "let's make a country album" idea could easily have ended in embarrassment, but The Tussler's mix of originals and covers succeeds in becoming something more than the result of getting drunk and playing country covers out of tune. They do on some occations make fun of certain (not-so-hard-to-find) musical cliches, but I think they are showing their acknowledgement of the music rather than being just parodic.

Some of the faster songs have that polka rhythm, featuring banjo and mandolin. On an otherwise varied record, these polka songs are fun, but perhaps too alike. On other songs, a traditionally played steel guitar contributes to a more authentic country feeling, while a distorted bass adds a Motorpsycho edge. In addition to the nine originals, they do a driving cover of Six Days On The Road and a decent cover of Neil Young's Albuquerque. But one of the highlights is Polka With The Devil, which also is the song closest to being a parody. It seems to me that this song captures the essence of the Allman Brothers' twin lead-guitars, only speeded up three times. Hilarious!

Not an essential item from Motorpsycho's portfolio, but never the less an entertaining sidetrack. It is pressed in a very limited edition on vinyl, with additional gems compared to the original CD release, so act fast!

Knut Tore Breivik