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5 stars With nearly 100 mins of music this really is a monster. Packed with original material without a dull moment. Timoty`s Monster is a bit less diverse than previous release Demon Box but still there is big variation of song complexety and intensety. Between the masterpeices The Wheel and The Golden Core on disk two, there are two tracks. One is Sungravy which is a slow tune played on acoustic guitar and some violin. The other track is Grindstone, which sounds like Satan driving a bulldozer (they even opens the Demon Box at the end of the song) , so you never know what`s coming on this album. 11 tracks on disc one, all of them high quality with the highlights of Leave It Like That, Giftland and Watersound. In the words of David Bowie: it`s a Fantastic Voyage. 5 stars.
Report this review (#272192)
Posted Monday, March 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Out of all the Motorpsycho-releases, this one was THE one that showed that they were more than just a "metal band with delusions of grandeur"*. After the first three releases which mostly belonged in the metal category, Timothy's Monster forever broadened the horizons for what could be done in one album (in an MP context, of course)

CD1 is easily the most accessible, and features acoustic driven ballads, awkward pop/rock with Pavement and Sonic Youth influences, shoegazer alā My Bloody Valentine and Ride, psychedelic rock with certain nods to The Grateful Dead and progressive elements (like mellotrons, hammond organs and jamming). All that in 11 songs and 57 minutes!

But for the Prog Archives die-hards, it's CD2 that probably will be the real payoff. 4 songs, 42 minutes. The Wheel lasts for 17 minutes, and is a droning, psychedelic and apocalyptic masterpiece that even provided lotsa room for endless experimentation live. Sungravy is an acoustic prog/folk-ballad with a nice string arrangement. Grindstone is a non-compromising metal song with harrowing vocals, repetitious riffs and a f---ed up noise ending that just keeps on getting louder and louder until it's abruptly cut off. And then The Golden Core ending the album on a 13 minute epic prog-rock journey reminiscent of King Crimson's finest moments (Epitaph, In The Court..., Exiles and of course Starless)

Some people were complaining that the metal was almost gone, and that the album was too diverse in expressions and styles. Maybe it is, but why should one complain when the songwriting is of such high quality, and the songs are so well performed?

This album cemented Motorpsycho's fate as genre-surfing, supersonic scientists.

(*= Quoted from the liner notes in the "Roadwork 2" live album by Motorpsycho)

NOTE: This album was re-relased August 9th 2010 in a 4 CD box version with a bunch of outtakes, demos, pre-versions and covers. Order it from their labels, either Stickman Records or Rune Grammofon.

Report this review (#278507)
Posted Monday, April 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The third Motorpsycho full length marks an important step for the band, both in terms of musical ambition and execution. The previous album Demon Box was a very diverse album but it could still largely be tagged as a metal/stoner album. With Timothy's Monster, the band found a more personal mix of heavy indie rock with psychedelic experimentation that fans probably identify as psychonaut-rock.

Timothy's Monster is a 2CD set and presents two entirely different faces of this versatile band. CD1 is a collection of short 90's guitar-rock songs with influences from grunge, indie and shoegazer. It is a pleasant listen but not much more then that. A lot of these songs are good but a bit faceless, fit for college-rock radio stations of their era but no Sonic Youth, Bloody Valentine, Cure or Nirvana for sure. 3.5 for this disc.

CD2 is an entirely different beast and probably of more interest to kraut/space-heads. Especially the 17 minute The Wheel is worth getting the album for, at least for fans of long and well crafted drones. It reminds of Kraut psych trip-rock, soaked in spaced-out feedback, hazy organ and fuzzy sounds. The main point of inspiration might actually have been Monster Magnet's space-rock experiment Tab 25 from the preceding year.

Sungravy offers a gentle and tender acoustic moment of reflection before the band reminds us of their grunge past with the monumental doom sludge of Grindstone. A dead-heavy piece with slowed-down Sabbath riffs, feedback, screams and a repeated ring that sounds as if some of your household equipment is on the verge of exploding. The Golden Core is another lengthy piece, announcing the post-rock that GYBE would push to the mainstream a few years later. Slightly 'off' folk vocals and mellotron join before everything builds up to a wall of sound.

It's impossible to tag this band, a good thing where I'm concerned but probably a bad feature for mainstream success. Recommended if you feel like getting an album that switches from folk, indie and rock to sludge, grunge and psychedelic trips. For sure one of the most fascinating rock bands from the 90s.

Report this review (#349726)
Posted Saturday, December 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Timothy's Monster" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Norwegian hard/psychadelic rock act Motorpsycho. The album was released through Stickman Records (Europe)/Harvest/EMI (Norway) in August 1994. "Timothy's Monster" is a double album release, featuring 15 tracks and a full playing time of 1 hour and 49:06 minutes.

So there is arguably a lot of quantity for the money. Stylistically Motorpsycho continue their musical journey from alternative rock/metal act to alternative/psychadelic rock act with occasional harder edged rock leanings. Most of the 11 tracks on disc 1 are alternative in nature and for the most part vers/chorus structured. They are not particularly memorable, but not bad either. Itīs the longer tracks and especially the 16:57 minutes long "The Wheel" from disc 2, that are most interesting. Thatīs also the tracks where the groupīs psychadelic side is heard the most.

"Timothy's Monster" features a decent sound production, but it could have prospered from a more warm and organic tone. So while "Timothy's Monster" is as such an alright listen, there are also things that frustrate me a bit about it. Motorpsycho simply donīt seem to know what they want on this album and as a consequence itīs stylistically inconsistent. That might suit some listeners, but for such a long album to run in so many different directions it ends up being a slightly confusing listen. The heavy fuzzy bass tone is another odd feature on the album. Itīs as such great with a heavy distorted bass, but itīs sometimes placed in some sections where it doesnīt seem to belong. Bent Saetherīs strained vocal delivery and unmemorable vocal lines donīt exactly make things better.

As mentioned there are some pretty great material on "Timothy's Monster" too though, and those tracks actually do make up for some of the odd choices the band have made on the album. I can mention "The Wheel" enough as the highlight of the album with itīs hypnotic, heavy, and repetitive beat and psychadelic vocals and effects, but "The Golden Core" and "Giftland" (which are the other two long tracks on the album) are also standout tracks to my ears. "Grindstone" is another track thatīs a bit different from the rest of the material on the album as itīs a pretty noisy and almost metal type track. Itīs not a particularly great track though and features some pretty annoying noisy closing couple of minutes.

While neither "Lobotomizer (1991)" nor "Demon Box (1993)" exactly made my blood boil, at least both of them had some really good tracks and some decent filler. On "Timothy's Monster" the great tracks are few and the amount of filler too high. I think Iīm stretching with a 3 star (60%) rating.

Report this review (#1632235)
Posted Saturday, October 15, 2016 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars 'Timothy's Monster' is the 3rd official full length album from that band that you just can't seem to put your finger on, Motorpsycho. Some would call them alternative, some would say psychedelic / stoner rock, some say progressive, they have even tried doing their version of country. With everything they have done, I think Eclectic is a pretty good name for their music. A lot of their albums are really good, and some are lacking. This album is one of the really good ones, but is also one of the hardest to exactly pinpoint because there is a lot of everything on this double album, but, in my opinion, it is all pretty good. If you were going to compare it with anyone, it would probably be The Flaming Lips, original music that is just a bit off kilter and a good amount of variety.

The first CD is mostly alternative, I suppose, but there is also a lot of progressive and psychedelic aspects to it. The band decided to start off the album with a strange pick as 'Feel' is one of the most mellow tracks on here, but it is quite psychedelic. 'Trapdoor' is more alternative as it turns things up a notch, but it is still fairly complex. Then there is the sudden onslaught of the dynamic 'Leave it Like That', which has a more stoner style to it, but again, it's nothing typical. 'A Shrug and a Fistful' goes for a more progressive / alternative sound. Then you move on to a few slightly longer tracks.

'Kill Some Day' and 'On My Pillow' goes straight for the more complex sound, but still add in the psychedelic and heavy sound, also both lasting around 7 minutes each. The vocals are a bit weak, but the guitar, especially in the latter track, is really good with a psychedelic edge to the track. We go back to some more shorter tracks with 'Beautiful Sister' which continues with the unique psych-alternative style. 'Wearing Yr Smell' is a bit heavier with a great riff and bass line. 'Now It's Time to Skate' is a softer sound with an acoustic vibe in the guitar and keys.

Suddenly, a 10+ minute track called 'Giftland' comes along. The track starts as a slow burn with the guitar and drums churning up excitement slowly as vocals help push the track along. After the 2nd verse, flutes and mellotrons amp things up more as tension builds. At 5:30, everything cuts loose as the music suddenly becomes dramatic. Things mellow out a minute later as guitars float around the background music. Drums start building excitement again as the music crescendos to a climactic section. This track just clinches the fact that this band is amazing. Even after this, there is one more track on the first CD called 'Watersound'. This is another acoustic and psychedelic style track with subdued, airy vocals. The sudden explosion of warbling sound is a nice surprise half way through as the sound breaks through.

The 2nd CD only consists of 4 tracks, but two of them are quite long. It starts off with a 16+ minute track called 'The Wheel'. It takes its sweet time building off of a guitar riff with a moderate rhythm, bubbling synths that remain subdued and a passive vocal. It constantly builds until the guitars become more intense pushing the song forward. By 5 minutes, we're at full volume with the drums becoming fuller until they drop out and we're left with a deep fuzzy guitar churning along. The stoner / space rock sound continues to churn forward with continuous vocals, continuing its subtle and psychedelic vocal synth improvisations based around one single chord. Just before 13 minutes, all of the intensity suddenly leaves and we're left with a more ambient psychedelia for a minute, before it all comes back at once.

'Sungravy' is another acoustic track with vocals that later gets joined by strings. The vocals are actually stronger on this track even though it is more of a ballad style. Very nice. 'Grindstone' is instantly heavy and loud with layers of guitars and vocals that are completely full of hormonal, almost growling singing. Stoner's will love this one. After a few minutes, there is a heavy bass melody against a fuzzy drone, and things build back up with feedback and lots more fuzz. Vocals become more frantic again as this electronic feedback / guitar fuzz loop continues to the end. It all gets very chaotic and loud by the end.

Finally, 'The Golden Core' closes out the album with a 13 minute track. After the last extremely noisy track, this one returns to the more subdued feel. The song is not like the last epic track as this one is not as simple as the space jam that was 'The Wheel'. Sounding more like a Eclectic Prog sound with an alternative flair, the music utilizes dynamics in a more complicated way as the music is complex, but also floating along with a nice mellotron sound and a thumping bass line. After the vocal section, there is a long instrumental break that builds off of a long chord progression. Once it reaches one plateau, it actually sounds like post rock even before post rock was a thing as guitars chime around a wall of sound. Vocals actually return during the climatic section making for a surprisingly passionate ending.

This is a great album that showcases Motorpsycho's styles and talent. They have this amazing ability to push their boundaries so that when you hear them, you know who they are, but they can incorporated so many styles to sound so different everytime you hear them. This often works well for them, but there are times across their discography and sometimes within albums, where it doesn't. Overall, however, this is a great recording that for the most part, shows them at their best. It is a strong psychedelic album, but pushes boundaries to the point that you might think twice about that label. Yes it is heavy into alternative sounds at times, but again, they are incorporating their sound into new areas. The album has a lot of versatility throughout though, and it makes it hard for the band to wear out their welcome, even in a long album like this one.

Report this review (#2139294)
Posted Sunday, February 24, 2019 | Review Permalink
5 stars Within only one year after the release of Demon Box, Motorpsycho would create the last album of their sort of grunge era trilogy. Lobotomizer consisted of well played stoner rock and grunge music that was both empowering yet unique enough to make them a little more far fetched from the usual grunge bands at the time. Demon Box would expand on it, issuing more songs with a wider scope of genres from folk to indie rock. Now we get into the penultimate album of this trilogy, Timothy's Monster where instead of going for a more diverse output, they decide to refine one of their strengths in one of the genres they attempted in Demon Box as they start to transition away from the grunge and stoner scenes to more newer ventures.

The album is split into 2 CDs. The first CD is a lot more focused on indie and alt rock jams like Trapdoor and Wearing Yr Smell. A lot of these tracks contain very masterfully done segments that are very fast moving with no time to stop. The longest track on the first cd, Giftland, shows off a lot of what the band is capable of within a longer musical timeframe. A slow moving melody as each minute introduces more and more as the song gets more structured and heavier, applying some techniques they used within Demon Box to create this very elaborate piece of music. My favorite song on here, and on the entire album, is the one after Giftland, which is Watersound. Just how it weaves around this acoustical melody until it bursts out into this strange and off putting electronic movement of sound that suckers punch you in the gut. While not as heavy as Demon Box or Lobotomizer, the band still finds a way to make your head spin.

Despite the album's consistency, each song on the first CD is still incredibly varied across the board, creating the best use of their musicianship as each of these three guys make their way around each number. It comes to a point where I dare to say this may be their first Prog rock album through this feat, though maybe Prog adjacent or crossover Prog could be the better descriptor within this first CD. Either way each of these songs are incredibly well done.

Most Prog heads would get more of a kick out of the second CD, which starts off with the long 16 minute epic of The Wheel. Within its 16 minutes, the band creates this moving melody that drives the song forward like a truck. It is a much better improvement compared to what was found on Demon Box with its long 17 minute titular epic. It moves across its landscape in fun and interesting ways, never deviating from its clear path, but always going to new places. If I had to guess what it could feel like, I'd say it is much like going on a road trip across a country to get to your house. You have a clear destination, and you never deviate from it, but you are still going to new places, and experiencing new changes you might've never even had before. I have had that experience before where I drove through the country just so I could get back home due to an incredibly delayed flight. So as I went through the country I'd visit pit stops and other places for food or drinks for the drive, and experience new things that I hadn't done before. This is what this song feels like, and the fact it is called The Wheel, and you know cars have wheels, it makes sense that this song is a very roadly epic.

The rest of the songs on CD 2 are a lot shorter though, with Sungravy and Grindstone being only 4 and 7 minutes, but either way they are still really well made, and I'd say at equal terms with The Wheel in enjoyment and execution.

The last song on here though is the real kicker for CD 2, and that is The Golden Core. It is a slow moving, uprising song that starts quietly but ends with a glorious crescendo as it weaves around a multitude of interesting and greatly made segments, each one more profound than the last. It is the only Motorpsycho song I'd call post rock, as it increases itself much like that of something from Godspeed You! Black Emperor or Fren. However they also keep their own identity intact with the songs that came before on this record. I'd say while CD 1 is masterfully well made, CD 2 is 100% the highlight on this record with the two longer tracks in it, and with it makes this album a well made masterpiece in alternative rock history, and is the best album they have released in their early career as a grunge/stoner rock band.

This album is a well made listen front to back. Each song is crafted expertly with some being masterpieces in their own right. It makes the band unfold onto themselves as they start to get an understanding of what they wanna do with their albums. This is the first of many diverse classics the band would produce in the 90s, and as we see within their next album, they would showcase they were more than just a hard rock band.

Report this review (#2850109)
Posted Saturday, November 5, 2022 | Review Permalink

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