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Motorpsycho - Little Lucid Moments CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.89 | 103 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Sometimes I like to look at the "Popular Artists (Top 50, Last 24h)" on the PA homepage to see if there are any bands with intriguing names I haven't heard of that I might want to check out. This has been a great way of discovering new music for me and I have added more than a few CDs to my collection doing this.

Motorpsycho's "Little Lucid Moments" ended up in my stacks this way. I had never heard of them and after looking over their their discography and getting a general idea of what they might sound like and which albums were the better rated ones, I checked out Amazon and ordered this album because it was a little cheaper than some of the higher rated albums.

Let me drop in some personal history here as around 1992 I was introduced to a Canadian band called Sloan who had released an independent EP and a major label debut around that time. Their style was unabashedly derivative of My Bloody Valentine, whose work I had never heard, and I loved the harmony vocals and pretty melodies contrasted by the high distortion, white noise style of music. For their second album they turned down the fuzz tone and concentrated more on song writing but there was still something alternative in their approach to music. Several years later I borrowed two CDs from a friend, one by Sonic Youth and one by Pavement (plus I had bought a My Bloody Valentine CD as well). And so I was introduced to the so-called shoegaze style.

I always believed that it was a short-lived style of music that lasted a few years from the end of the 80's to somewhere near the mid-90's, and so it was quite a surprise to listen to this album for the first time (since I had bought this as a total experiment) because it was just like listening to those bands once more, except this was from a more recent time period.

Progressive shoegaze? Why not? Actually, I can't really say why it's progressive because it is not prog in the way that I normally hear it. "Suite: Little Lucid Moments" is 21 minutes long and goes through different parts, changing style as it does. It begins in the Sonic Youth / Sloan vein but a few minutes in, it changes gears for the second part and suddenly sounds like Foo Fighters. That's OK with me. I used to like them, too. So now it seems I can indulge in the guilty treat of listening to a band that's listed on PA but sounds like a lot of stuff I used to listen to in the early 90's, long before I ever knew what progressive rock was. Incidentally, except for the lackluster space guitar part that comes up during this 21-minute voyage of sound, this has become on of the more enjoyable 20-minute plus epics that joined my collection this year.

I'm afraid "Year Zero (A Damage Report)" hasn't offered my anything to grab onto yet. It maintains the style of the album but for me the vocals are weak and the music doesn't have much to keep my interest. That's not so bad though because the next two songs are vying for my pick as favourite on the album.

Both "She Left on the Sun Ship" and "The Alchemist" have some catchy moments and nice atmospheric parts that seem to indicate how shoegaze morphed into postrock. I'm surprised at how simple the musical arrangement is. This is vocals (two lead vocalists I can hear), guitars (two distinct sounds), bass, and drums. There doesn't seem to be a lot of overdubs. I feel these guys could play this album live with only the inclusion of someone on bass or guitar to make up the fourth member.

I guess this album is considered progressive rock because the longer compositions permit the musicians to let each song travel through different sonic expressions from cosmic space guitar to aggressive Foo Fighter style, to lighter melodic shoegaze rock, to atmospheric post rock. Motorpsycho have taken what may have become an obsolete and non-trending style and washed the entire album over with it, making it sound as though it is as fresh and alive as it was in the early 90's. Though not as complex and technically advanced as the music of many great bands on this site, it stands out as a vibrant oddball. Some may not like it, but others will get its appeal.

FragileKings | 3/5 |


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