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Motorpsycho - Heavy Metal Fruit CD (album) cover

HEAVY METAL FRUIT

Motorpsycho

Eclectic Prog


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5 stars So, it´s a transcendent thing with a very good sound, lyrics, strange names of tracks, little bit ghostly cover (reminds famous Uriah Heep´s "Very ´Eavy, Very ´Umble"). Although I have heard this record more than 20 times, I like it upwards and upwards. 13th studio album in 21-year history of the band is concededly their best, because it´s most compact, most bravura played and best recorded of all Motorpsycho records.

1. Starhammer - simply the best song of the album! Begins with 40 seconds of almost silence, suddenly starts main heavy guitar riff with mellotron-theme. Middle part is minimalistic, instrumental, with lazy guitar solo, reminds me Crimson´s song Starless. Third part is return to main motive. 5 stars.

2. X-3 (Knuckelheads In Space) / The Getaway Special - first part is a melodic, catchy, straight-lined rock song with perfect vocals and psychedelic wall of sound in the end. Second part is an excellent jazzy stuff . Marvellous changing of trumpet and guitar solos. 5 stars.

3. The Bomb-Proof Roll And Beyond - starts with very heavy, slow riff, then comes another jazzy-psychedelic part, main motive is canon-singing in the end. 4 stars.

4. Close Your Eyes - gentle ballad, only vocal with piano accompaniment. Melancholic mood, shortest track of the album, but very nice. 4,5 stars.

5. W.B.A.T. - begins as free jazz song. Then comes heavy guitar riff. That´s a pity, main motive is a mere variation of Black Sabbath´s "A National Acrobat". Let´s imagine Ozzy´s voice only here! 4 stars.

6. Gullible's Travails (pt I - IV) - 2nd top song, quintessence of whole record . The longest, but absolutely amazing one. The musicians shows here all their executions in 4 different parts. Rhino mood, well-known minimalistic part with crescendo-ostinato figure, beautiful guitar solos, mellotron (or string orchestra?) motive in the end. Genuine epilogue of this fantastic album, indeed! 5 stars.

Well, let me write a little notice. I mean Motorpsycho´s music is not Eclectic Prog, but more likely Heavy Prog (with little psychedelic scent)...

Report this review (#265349)
Posted Thursday, February 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Such a great album! In my humble opinion, this is the best record of these strange Norwegians and maybe one of interns to the title "Prog Album of The Year 2010". 13th Motorpsycho album - it is not unfortunate number for the band, indeed!

Music? Simply Heavy Metal Fruit!!! Not heavy metal, not symphonic prog... It' s a wonderful mixture of many influences from jazz, through classical rock [Black Sabbath-like riffs, Led Zeppelin-like orchestration, Fripp-like guitar solos] to grunge - vocals reminds me Chris Cornell, e.g. But the final product is a very peculiar music!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR ALL PROG ROCK FANS!!! (Especially for fans of Soundgarden, Oceansize, Black Sabbath or King Crimson, of course...)

5 stars really!!!

Report this review (#269984)
Posted Sunday, March 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Absoluteley breathtaking stuff! Is this the strongest album release since the golden age of King Crimson and Pink Floyd? A flawless masterpiece with over 60 mins of music. A music that only can be compared to some earlier Motorpsycho found on Demon Box and Timoty`s Monster. This is massive jazzgrungeblues! A real punch in the gut and at the same time so incredibel beatiful! Oh, the satisfaction...Thank you Motorpsycho! PS. After contributing on the prog rock scene for almost twenty years, the late arrival of Motorpsycho on this site is a big mystery to me. It`s the same as keeping Man United out of Premier Leage.
Report this review (#271410)
Posted Saturday, March 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is my first listen to Norwegian proggers Motorpsycho. They seem to be a much overlooked eclectic prog band as this is their 14th album since 1991. They must have worked hard! Their sound is a mix of Psychedelic/Progressive Rock and a harder edge: Heavy Metal/Hard Rock, I also hear some Indie/Alternative influences. I found them to be quite enjoyable and original. The album contains 6 tracks, most of them are long epic sounding songs except for the short piano song "Close your eyes" and there are long instrumental passages containing heavy synths and catchy guitar riffs. I also liked the vocals. Many are saying that this is their most accomplished release to date. I can't say anything about that, but I will definitely check into their back catalog. Give "Heavy Metal Fruit" a try. You won't be disappointed!
Report this review (#272518)
Posted Wednesday, March 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars Let's jump in the water without any preparation (introduction). Let's face it, I consider them Psychedelic. I feel like tripping (even I never did drugs in my life) and Starhammer seems like nice ........ (10 minutes later): Oh well, where have I been last ten minutes ? It seems like I was literally tripping, enjoying music, waving in the rhythm of hypnotic drums and whistling (yes, I whistle a lot, I'm The One Legged Whistler). Really heavy "stuff".

I'm starting to realize why there are so high opinions. After few listens, I'm still not completely decided, but no less than 4 stars (really). X-3 (Knuckelheads In Space) is a strange one. Extremely fast in pace, on a first look sounds all through its four minutes the same, but when you "look" and examine it closely, it's diverse. Strange one, second part of the song is calmer jamming. Later on, we can finally realize why they are under Eclectic category. But still, this psychedelic line is clearly to hear through entire album. Final epic is truly epic, because not even they continue in their "full-of-variety" style, but also transcend to something different, Symphonic ending guys and girl, that's something unheard before.

4(+), undefinable experience. Let's try it for yourselves.

Prog experience for new and old Proggers altogether.

EDIT June 2010 - 0.5 decrease.

Report this review (#273087)
Posted Saturday, March 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars During last 2 decades Scandinavia became major world centre of progressive music. Partially Norway is a home of almost all leading nu jazz/nu fusion musicians. It shows local music scene is active and innovative.

Motorpsycho is another Norwegian band, mixing all possible styles in one. Vintage blues-rock and r'n'b, some old school psychedelic prog, spacey sounds, hard'n'heavy, jamming, jazz- rock, etc. Even if in many cases the basic sound is guitar indie rock.

When started listening this album, I was a bit disappointed. Few first songs are real guitar indie rock, even with grunge influention. Not the best element for progressive brew. But step by step this music attracted me more and more. Not too often you can find between modern recordings so different and unpredictable music! Possibly, it's difficult to speak about band's style, whenever each song is different. Or let say their style is just all possible (mostly vintage prog) styles in one. Only common component in almost all songs is dirty guitar sound.

Possibly, not most classic progressive rock album, but with strong smell of early 70-s - the time when progressive rock was still really innovative and progressive. OK, one can say this album's music is deeply rooted in traditions from 70-s and hardly brings something really new. Yes, it's true, but "it smells like a teen's spirit" ...

Report this review (#273637)
Posted Tuesday, March 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars

Sorry for being a party pooper here and giving such a highly praised album a low rating, but I just don't like this album (obviously).

First of all, at least 50% of this album isn't prog, but rather guitar-driven grunge a-lá Alice in Chains mixed with shoegazing qualities reminiscent of bands like Ride or My Bloody Valentine. The parts that ARE prog (or at least jazz), though, are nothing special either, since those parts are more often than not drowned in the terribly compressor-heavy production which puts too much emphasis on the bass and bass drum, making all instruments flow together like a mushy wall of sound without any distinction (which is especially laughable considering that the Wikipedia entry on this ablum says that the production is intentionally soft to protest against the loudness war. Yeah, right). That is not to say that the prog moments are bad; there ARE good moments even though they are heavily outnumbered by "generic distorted guitar" moments.

Those are minor issues, though, since I actually LIKE the shoegazing sound (especially My Bloody Valentine's album "Loveless" which also features terrible production), but the main problem with "Heavy Metal Fruit" is the noodling. Songs go on forever with a wall of sound and a jazz guitar noodling around on a pentatonic scale that gets old after half a minute. Especially the last piece; a 20 minute song that gets absolutely nowhere.

On a whole, this album is completely forgettable, save a few moments (like a few particularly nice vocal arrangements that unfortunately are drowned out by the instruments more often than not). If you want the wall of sound done right, check out the aforementioned "Loveless" by My Bloody Valentine.

Report this review (#275958)
Posted Friday, April 2, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars The years since 2000 proved to be a very fruitful period for progressive rock and I am almost totally convinced that many contemporary bands that combine pop, rock, indie, jazz, avant garde and hard rock are in many cases, more progressive than some so-called neo-prog acts. Some of today's groups, even if they do produce good albums, some times tend to be a good substitute if you wished Genesis or Yes had recorded more albums than they actually did (which we do!!). "Heavy metal fruit" is an amalgam of art, hard and stoner rock, indie, jazz and psychedelia. Among other great scandinavian bands that I've recently discovered (Uzva, Manogurgeil, Jaga Jazzist) Motorpsycho seem to know exactly how they want to sound by blending vintage and modern rock sounds. There are long passages that give the impression that these guys let themselves loose but actually these are flowing themes over really tight and precise rhythm sections. Their sound is characteristic and the excellent production emphasizes the feeling of it all. If I had to give some references in relation to other bands, I would dare to say that there are some dispersed vague similarities with Bigelf or Causa Sui, but "Heavy metal fruit" is a unique album of its own! Long live today!
Report this review (#277926)
Posted Wednesday, April 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars I really want to give this album five stars, probably because it is a very ENJOYABLE listen. There seems to be many "influences" in this album (at least from my perceptions), from Blue Öyster Cult and Uriah Heep (Knucleheads in Space/The Getaway Special), to more progressive elements in W.B.A.T. and Gullible's Travails. It is certainly space/psychedelic in nature and theme, and while the album as a whole reflects various earlier styles and forms, Motorpsycho greatly succeeds in presenting an entirely individual and modern approach to the earlier periods of progressive/psychedelic rock. In my opinion, the album is technically and lyrically strong and exceedingly interesting. But above all, it is ENJOYABLE and fun. As this was my first exposure to Motorpsycho, after giving this record a few spins, I was anxious to purchase "Timothy's Monster", and found that this fine band exhibits both a sense of adventure and diversity in styles. I am looking forward to sampling their other releases in the near future. But as for "Heavy Metal Fruit" a VERY STRONG four stars, at this point.
Report this review (#279593)
Posted Tuesday, April 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Fantastic music! While I still find myself diving in Motorpsycho's discography, I consider ''Heavy Metal Fruit'' to be their best record to date.The band seems to have almost completely surrender to their '70's influences, especially the psychedelic ones, but still reserving modern elements to their sound. I understand that they sound a bit alternative to some ears but in my opinion this is exactly their greatness. A band that is inspired by the past but still stands in the present, delivering highly intelligent modern progressive music. Straight rock anthems, hypnotic jams, atmospheric landscapes, Heavy Metal Fruit flows perfectly. The best 2010 record so far and one of the more refreshing in recent years- at least for a prog fan who still searches for new things.
Report this review (#283380)
Posted Tuesday, May 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Another buy I have to thank you guys for. I've been watching the #1 ranking this album's been getting all year and thought I better snatch it up. When I first put this on, I thought, "no way" this is sounding too good for my ears. Like its delivering what I've been craving. Which is non- Prog metal, but progressively inclined music, with a balance of structure and art. Some progressive form, to give the music some construction and them some inspired music to hang off of that structure.

This stuff is pretty exhilarating, in a way that Mars Volta was to me the first time I heard them. Very different bands of course, in that Mars Volta is all about sonic pandemonium and Motorpsycho is more controlled and stripped down. Many have mentioned the psychedelic connection, but I think it's a little different than that. There's often a greasy bloozey underbelly that critics love, from the Stooges and Pere Ubu to the Godz . This stuff is also a little more space rock, in a Hawkwind way, than psychedelic. There's also a tad of Godspeed You Black Emperor going on. Most important, they're taking Rock sounds we may be familiar but reshuffling and arranging them in new ways.

"Heavy Metal Fruit" is everything many post-progers will love. For "some of us" Dream Theater and the Flower Kings continue to crank out too much of the "same ole same ole". We need something newer and original. Sure Motorpsycho pulls sounds from the past, but they rearrange -- and stretch them out -- in very original ways that are far more refreshing to my ears than the "same ole same ole".

Report this review (#283754)
Posted Thursday, May 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
3 stars Motorpsycho have really been working hard for the last couple of years! Releasing three albums in under two years fully loaded with the mix of Experimental Psychedelic Hard Rock that the band have been moving towards since the Experimental Alternative Rock days of Trust Us. There is no denying that Heavy Metal Fruit has stirred up quite a few emotions ever since its early 2010 release date and so I felt obligated to revisit this old friend of a band just to see what the fuss was all about.

It's true that I haven't heard much from Motorpsycho before or after their 2 CD 1998-album Trust Us, with an exception of an occasional sample track here and there, and so I honestly didn't know what to expect from the new sound that the band have become so famous for at this stage of their career. The album begins with a prolonged intro of Starhammer that after almost 1,5 minutes of silence finally transitions into a Stoner Rock tune. This is of course not everything that Motorpsycho has to offer us over the course of this almost 13 minute long compositions and once the heavy guitar sound settles down we get into a very pleasant experimental jam section that lasts until the last minutes where the band finally gets back to Stoner Rock. Not really what I was expecting but that's definitely not a bad thing!

X-3 (Knuckelheads In Space) / The Getaway Special is a much simpler upbeat rock tune that isn't all that exciting from a progressive point of things. Still, the band manages to change their direction halfway through the composition by adding on another pleasant experimental jam session with smooth trumpet work and playful guitar sounds. The Bomb-Proof Roll And Beyond (for Arnie Hassle) is another surprise of a sorts that reminds me more of the band's '90s sound than what they were offering on Heavy Metal Fruit until now. That is not to say that Motorpsycho have been all that consistent up to this point either. The track becomes pretty psychedelic towards the end with a lot of noise targeted straight at the listener.

Close Your Eyes caught me completely off guard at first because I actually had to double check that my player hadn't skipped to some obscure Radiohead ballad! This was of course not the case, instead Motorpsycho have once again shown just how versatile they have become. W. B. A. T. is probably the closest that this album comes to sounding progressive even though the composition does fall in a much more familiar rock territory towards its second part. Gullible's Travails (pt I - IV) was a bit of a disappointment for me since it wasn't more than just a nice prolonged jam and not the fleshed out six-parter epic I was expecting from this 20+ minute composition.

It seems that the direction Motorpsycho have been going for lately has given them quite a few new followers. Personally I prefer almost everything I've heard on Trust Us over this new material since nothing here truly captures my imagination. Still, there's no denying that the band have created something quite unique with this release and so no less than a good, but non-essential rating on my part is in order here.

**** star songs: Starhammer (12:57) The Bomb-Proof Roll And Beyond (for Arnie Hassle) (6:02) Close Your Eyes (3:40) W. B. A. T. (9:44) Gullible's Travails (pt I - IV) (20:42)

*** star songs: X-3 (Knuckelheads In Space) / The Getaway Special (9:04)

Report this review (#284220)
Posted Sunday, May 30, 2010 | Review Permalink
poslednijat_colobar
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars It is very hard for me to write down a review of an album I dislike so much. That kind of album is Heavy Metal Fruit by Motorpsycho. It is really unbearable for me! I postponed my writing of this album's review for about two or three months, because I had to listen to the album one more time. I have written a review half year ago, but than deleted it because it was very subjective and insulting to the album. Later I tried to give another chance, but it totally has failed. The combination of sounds is absolutely unreceptive to my soul.

The genre of the album is blend of hard rock and psychedelic rock with some blues themes. Regretfully, that combination doesn't worked out with me! Heavy Metal Fruit is quite long for an album with so much repetitions and predictable ideas and all of that makes it highly boring. The last thing I have to say about the album is that all of the songs are quite simple with 3-4 different chords each. That's my opinion of the album. 1 star

Report this review (#284424)
Posted Tuesday, June 1, 2010 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
5 stars Motorpsycho's HMF is an addictive rock album that turned out to be a rather controversial entry in PA. It doesn't conform to the classic definition of prog and it certainly hasn't got anything ado with symphonic prog, for many still the one and only. No, HMF is a heavy rock album with influences stretching from dirty stoner rock to psych, jazz and space-rock. I have only a scattered knowledge of Motorpsycho's background. Their albums never entirely convinced me so far. That changed with Little Lucid Moments from 2008. The band let in much more room for improvisations and jams, and stretched the format and musicality of the Motorpsycho sound quite a bit in the process.

I guess they will be duly punished for not conforming to prog expectations or for merely existing on PA, but that doesn't matter. The most important thing is that their passage here has awakened some interest. If that results in one extra fan, it's already a success as far as I'm concerned. In an attempt to tease you, allow me to throw all band names that I know at you now.

After a minute of silence, Starhammer kicks in with a heavy Crimsonite theme, sounding as if it came straight out of one of Anekdoten's early albums. Before long they set into a bluesy Sabbath plod with a psychedelic harmonic vocal lead. A long improvisation follows with some post-rock and jazzy touches. I deliberately use the word 'improvisation' and not 'jam'. This is not the predictable bass and drum groove that a guitar player can shred on, all musicians are in this one together and interact freely. It starts subdued but gradually builds to a forceful space-rock outburst. Early Hawkwind and Floyd would have been very proud about this one. Near the end, the verse and Crimsonite theme are repeated. What a monster!

Time to kick up the pace. X-3 sounds as if Can (from the Malcolm Moony years) would do a Blue Oyster Cult tune. Southern rock but played loose, dirty and wild. Also the gritty rock of The Black Crows come to mind. It has a delicious uplifting chorus with strong harmonic vocals. It has a more traditional verse-chorus structure, at least till a noisy finale gives way to The Getaway Special, another jazz-post-rock improvisation with Mathias Eick guesting on trumpet.

The Bomb-Proof Roll and Beyond starts out with dreamy vocal line on one of their vintage stoner riffs. This is what Queens of the Stone Age could sound like if they didn't try so hard to be a pop band. Motorpsycho make the difference with the lush psychedelic keyboards and beautiful vocal harmonies with every band member joining in on the vocals. They open up the song to let in some very avant-garde sonic explosions.

Close Your Eyes is a delicate ballad on piano, the kind that also Jeff Buckley and Ryan Adams can thrill me with. It offers a short moment of contemplation, perfectly placed in the middle of the album.

W.B.A.T. starts with a frenzied drum-heavy free-jazz part, similar to the start of Van Der Graaf's Arrow, only with guitar soling here instead of the sax. It gets quite dissonant and is guaranteed to annoy symphonic fans. It changes to one of the best tributes to Sabbath I have heard. Motorpsycho's roots are in the stoner-rock branch and this song sure bears witness to that. It strongly reminds me of A National Acrobat from Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, complete with vintage riffs, Ozzyan vocals, thick pounding drums and prominent bass guitar. It ends on a highly psychedelic note with an almost Yessian symphonic touch. Hej, prog!

As if the stellar songwriting that preceded wasn't enough, we still got the 20 minute epic ahead! Well yes epic? It has a multi-part structure but of course it's Motorpsycho so much of it is assigned to improvisations. After a short opening with Zeppeliny Eastern-tinged guitars and violins, the first part is a very melodic and slightly shoegazer type of song. It's very inspired, delicate and memorable. Spacey Floydian guitars bridge to a second part with acoustic guitars, flutes and hazy vocals. A bit before halfway, Motorpsycho amply display what fine musicians they are on a lengthy improvised space-trip ending in an orgiastic orchestral climax. Kraut and space fans lick your fingers!

So far, my pick for 2010 and one of the best space-rock album I've heard in ages. Kyuss and Monster Magnet fans will already own this, high recommendations go out to daring fans of kraut, space-rock, heavy prog and the likes.

Report this review (#284732)
Posted Thursday, June 3, 2010 | Review Permalink
BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Interesting music. For about one listen. One song at a time. Otherwise, it becomes monotonous. HAWKWIND and BAND FROM OUTER SPACE and even CAN lovers will probably like this; The Flaming Lips and Ozrics lovers, maybe. Gong, Egg, Eloy, and Floyd lovers may not. (AT least, that's my opinion.) The recording/engineering is a bit too raw for my tastes. Still, I like the variety of song styles and tempos. I just don't find myself craving more--wanting to here it again and again. Oh, well. To each his own! Three stars: Good, but non-essential. Certainly not the best album of a year! (What a poor year that would be!)
Report this review (#284745)
Posted Thursday, June 3, 2010 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars I'm not sure who's idea it was to start off the album with almost 1 1/2 minutes of silence but they should be up for the "Dick of the Year" award. I mean come on what's the purpose ? If it was at the end of the song I could skip it but any prolonged silence on any album i've heard is a huge negative as far as i'm concerned. Anyway when the music does come in it's fairly heavy and vocals join in around 2 minutes. It settles after 4 minutes then starts to build 6 1/2 minutes in but then settles back again. Good section after 10 minutes as it gets a little heavier with guitar soloing over top. Vocals are back 11 1/2 minutes in. "V-3 (Knuckleheads In Space) / The Getaway Special" is catchy but not very good. Too poppy and I don't like the harmonies.Thankfully it changes after 5 minutes with intricate guitar, trumpet and drums.

"The Bomb-Proof Roll And Beyond" is nice and heavy to start, vocals after a minute. A spacey calm after 2 1/2 minutes. It kicks back in quickly and it's chaotic. Vocals are back. "Close Your Eyes" opens with piano as reserved vocals join in. Not a fan. "W.B.A.T." features relentless drumming early. A change after 3 minutes and vocals arrive. Heavy guitar and bass too. "Gullibee's Travails (Pt.I-IV)" settles in after 1 1/2 minutes and vocals join in. A calm after 6 minutes. Female vocals before 7 1/2 minutes. It starts to pick up 9 1/2 minutes in. This is good. Vocals are back after 15 minutes but not for long.

While there are some good sections they are far and few between. Definitely for fans only as far as i'm concerned. The cover art sucks too.

Report this review (#289705)
Posted Thursday, July 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
3 stars MOTORPSYCHO are a multifaceted band like no other, consisting of prolific musicians who are looking back to more than 20 years of cooperation now. And every album sounds different, bears another concept. 'Heavy Metal Fruit' comprises a strong psychedelic touch this time, additionally decorated with a proper jamming rate. Certainly heavy and according to this the album title hits the nail on the head. But metal? This is causing debates of course. Thumbs up or down? This challenged me to get closer to this album .. and no regrets in the end ... what strikes is that the tracks are not easy to predict, are holding variety indeed.

Well, I've catched the praise, for me as an old-fashioned space rocker the first song Starhammer appears as one of the most attractive. Not due to this grunge/stoner wrapping really. No, the song changes to a relaxed groove in between, sparkling keyboards here, playful guitars there - which evolves to a wonderful psychedelic respectively spacey going in the end. Second one X-3 has much more of a speedy garage rock behaviour, adapted for rocking the crowd during a gig. But this is not all and finally proves them as a band which offers much more than simple straightforward rock music. Hence the second part shows them jamming once more, decorated with trumpet and mysterious vocals which offers a proper experimental attitude.

The Bomb-Proof Roll And Beyond now follows as a heavy psych rocker, rather successful because comprising excellent vocal contributions for example ... and once again they completely vary it all with a cacophonous downfall towards the end. The ballad Close Your Eyes provides some period of time to rest with nice piano backing. W.B.A.T. starts restless, excited, jazzy drums are striking, but then .. unsurpringly in the meantime ... the mood changes and reminds me of Brother Ape a lot furthermore.

Provided with an ambivalent outfit the epic Gullible's Travails partially disappoints - regarding Part 1 and Part 4 who are clearly indie flavoured. The other sections though are doing well then showing a jamming spacey character. MOTORPSYCHO albums are not beyond dispute when it comes to prog standards .. 'Heavy Metal Fruit' proves this again. However - I'm sure the band never has really insisted on playing prog music as such. Nevertheless ... the prog proportion is in the majority here as for my impression. Not an album which can knock my socks off, but quite prolific anyhow while holding some very nice impressions right in the middle of it.

Report this review (#372727)
Posted Tuesday, January 4, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars 'Heavy Metal Fruit' is in many ways an introduction to Motorpsycho for me. Having heard very little of their material before, I was struck straight away by the spacey riff of 'Starhammer'. Although ill-prepared for the improvisations that punctuate the middle of the song, I was pleasantly surprised to drift away until the main theme kicked back in ten minutes later.

'X-3 / The Getway Special' has a much more 70's rock and roll sound, the vocals shifting from Starhammer's grungey tone to a more Led Zeppelin like sound. The pace also picks up significantly.

Other highlights include the full, enveloping sound of 'W.B.A.T'. It is worth investing in a proper sound system to fully appreciate the density of the music. 'Gullible's Travails' harks back at the opener, with a symphonic riff, taking the listener on a trip through space.

The album isn't perfect. At times it is a bit noisy, even a bit messy. Occasionaly, the songs drag on a bit sounding slightly repetitive : you are pressed hard to listen for the subtle differences.

'Heavy Metal Fruit' is, however, an enjoyable listen. At its best, it will push your hi-fi and your ears to the limit. For fans of heavy space rock, this is essential listening. For everyone else, this album is still well worth a listen, just make sure you play it loud on a good hi-fi (having tested it on an ipod, it really doesn't do it justice).

Report this review (#384116)
Posted Friday, January 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Post/Math Rock Team
3 stars Motorpsycho are a Norwegian band who have been around since 1989. Their discography is big, but this is the first album of theirs I have heard. They even made an album with members of Jaga Jazzist. I'm not sure what their earlier albums sound like, but on Heavy Metal Fruit they are a cross between '60s psych and '70s heavy metal. Some of the keyboards and guitar effects are more modern, putting them closer to 'stoner rock' at times. I generally don't like the lead vocals much but the harmony vocals are usually well done.

"Starhammer" opens the album with a few minutes of almost nothing; barely audible sounds come and go very randomly. Some symphonic rock which quickly changes to a riff that wouldn't sound out of place on a Sabbath album. Along with some vocals. After 3 1/2 minutes starts a cool part with eerie backup vocals at first. A guitar solo later on. Love the sound of the bass for this whole part. The music builds up and dies down before another guitar solo. The music starts to build up again, eventually going back to the Sabbath riff and the symphonic rock part.

"X-3 (Knuckleheads In Space) / The Getaway Special" starts off as a very retro late '60s style boogie rock. Folk-rocky chorus. Some atmospheric keyboards in the background later. A very fuzzy late '60s guitar solo. Over halfway switches to a Greatful Dead like jam with some trumpet. "The Bomb-Proof Roll And Beyond (for Arnie Hassle)" is a catchy song. I like the counterpoint vocals. In the middle gets spacey then becomes a noisy cacophony. Eventually goes back to the main song. Love the overdubbed a capella vocals at the end.

"Close Your Eyes" is the most contemporary sounding song. A mediocre piano-based ballad, nothing special. "W.B.A.T." has a cool mix of jazzy drumming and 'stoner' guitar playing at the beginning. Gets louder and more cacaphonous before a drum roll leads to another riff worthy of Sabbath. Vocals now. Lyrics are pretty catchy. Later a guitar solo. Some acoustic guitars appear and it goes into a more melodic and poppy part before going back to the Sabbath like riff. The melodic poppy part comes back with great electric guitar lines.

At 21 minutes, "Gullible's Travails (pts I-IV)" is the longest track. It begins with guitar feedback along with acoustic guitar and piano. Goes into some guitar playing that reminds me of Soundgarden. Then settles into a groove with vocals. Alternates between the Soundgarden guitars and the groove. Gets more melodic and 'chorus' like before 5 minutes. Later changes to acoustic guitars and melodic bass with some female vocals. Then male vocals. Nice flute during this part. Later a cool bass line and spacey guitar effects. A guitar solo after awhile. Guitar and keys start playing a new riff in unison before the music gets more loose. Then it goes back to the 'chorus' like part. Orchestra and/or orchestra-like keyboard sounds start to increase in volume. Band dies out and then a quieter orchestra.

This is isn't too bad of an album, but they are not going to win any points for originality. If you enjoy 'retro-prog' or modern 'stoner rock', you may like this. There are some great moments spread out unevenly over the album. But not enough for me. I'll give this 3 stars.

Report this review (#402143)
Posted Thursday, February 17, 2011 | Review Permalink
Starhammer
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars "I am a Starhammer, I never judge but always keep the score..."

Heavy Metal Fruit was mixed down during the production stage as an act of protest against 'the loudness war'. At first I felt this tactic might reduce the impact of certain sections, but with a good pair of speakers it remains hard-hitting and crystal clear throughout.

The album's opener, Starhammer, lulls you into a dream like state with barely audible guitar noodling before unleashing that earth-shattering riff! Add to that an excellently crafted instrumental breakdown and top it off with a reprise and you have yourself an epic with proportionality to rival the album's closer, Gullible's Travails. This has a similar song structure, but being slightly longer allows for more musical exploration. I am torn between which track I prefer as they are both superb.

X-3 (Knuckleheads in Space) has a chorus that gets stuck in my head for days and is the album's most rockin' track. It too closes neatly with another great passage of improvisational. However, this jazzier interlude is a complete juxtaposition to the face-melting, sonic armageddon that follows in The Bomb-Proof Roll and Beyond!!.

Close Your Eyes is the album's shortest track and despite its sombre atmosphere it fits in well. W.B.A.T. is probably my least favourite track on the album, but with such stiff competition it's hard to really fault.

The Verdict: Let it ripen to experience the full flavour.

Report this review (#441229)
Posted Sunday, May 1, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Heavy metal fruit? More like heavy psychedelic fruit. Not the heaviest Motorpsycho release (standing in between their heavy rock and alternative rock leanings), but surely one of the trippiest. The bulk of the fruit consists of mostly very long songs, with bluesy and rocking riffs quickly dissolving into extended long-building jams and walls of sound. But the good thing is that Motorpsycho don't settle for simple drones - annoying feedback noise (for noisy they may be) or linear build-ups, underneath there's a decent groove or a poppy melody. For the latter, check the sweeping symphonic alternative rock ending to the 20-minute closer. Though it may not be the most varied epic I've heard, but the title - Gulliver's Travels, pardon, I meant Gullible's Travails - alone deserves a 4-star rating.
Report this review (#1391343)
Posted Tuesday, March 31, 2015 | Review Permalink

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