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MOTORPSYCHO

Eclectic Prog • Norway


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Motorpsycho biography
Norwegian outfit MOTORPSYCHO was formed in Trondheim in 1989, initially consisting of Bent Saether (bass), Hans Magnus «Snah» Ryan (guitars) and Kjell Runar Killer Jenssen (drums). The demo EP Maiden Voyage from 1990 was their first release, followed by the full length production Lobotomizer in 1991. On these first two ventures their stylistic expression were heavily influenced by punk and grunge, the latter a style of music highly popular at the time.

Shortly after the release of their first album drummer Jenssen left the band, and was replaced by Haakon Gebhardt (drums, vocals, banjo). This second edition of the band would prove to be pretty stable, as this threesome would make up the core unit of the band for the next 14 years.

The first efforts of the new line-up were the single 3 Songs for Rut, followed by the EP Soothe. Both of these productions were issued in limited editions in 1992, and was assembled and released as the compilation album 8 Soothings Songs for Rut later the same year. While still pursuing a tyle of music most closely related to alternative metal on these efforts, influences from progressive rock started manifesting themselves at this point, first and foremost in the close to 10 minutes long effort Lighthouse Girl.

And influences from progressive rock, psychedelic music and indie rock would all become steadily more prevalent in the musical exploits of Motorpsycho in the coming years, a steadily evolving process that can be traced in a flurry of releases throughout the 90's. Many feel they emerged as a purebred progressive outfit already in 1993, when they released the double album Demon Box. A single CD version of this effort was released as well, and the tracks omitted from this version due due time constraints was soon after made available on the EP Mountain.

One reason for the evolvement in stylistic expressions on this particular album was the addition of Helge Sten (keyboards, theremin) to their ranks. He would remain a permanent member of Motorpsycho until 1995, and something of a cross between an associated member and frquently used guest musician and contributor for the following years. Sten might be more well know by music fans by his creative moniker Deathprod, and he has a score of releases to his own name exploring dark ambient, droning sonic landscapes.

In 1994 Motorpsycho was signed by major label EMI Records for their Norwegian releases, while the band set up t...
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Motorpsycho official website

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Buy MOTORPSYCHO Music


Heavy Metal FruitHeavy Metal Fruit
Rune Grammofon 2010
Audio CD$12.31
$7.35 (used)
Behind the SunBehind the Sun
Rune Grammofon 2014
Audio CD$11.00
$16.53 (used)
Little Lucid MomentsLittle Lucid Moments
Stickman 2008
Audio CD$12.78
$10.20 (used)
Still Life With EggplantStill Life With Eggplant
Rune Grammofon 2013
Audio CD$12.71
$9.05 (used)
Trust UsTrust Us
Import
Stickman 2003
Audio CD$24.30
$19.90 (used)
Roadwork 4: Intrepid SkronkRoadwork 4: Intrepid Skronk
Rune Grammofon 2011
Audio CD$12.78
$11.09 (used)
Timothys MonsterTimothys Monster
Box set
Rune Grammofon 2010
Audio CD$24.48
$9.99 (used)
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MOTORPSYCHO shows & tickets


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MOTORPSYCHO discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MOTORPSYCHO top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.99 | 24 ratings
Lobotomizer
1991
3.96 | 40 ratings
Demon Box
1993
4.13 | 67 ratings
Timothy's Monster
1994
3.44 | 9 ratings
The Tussler: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
1994
3.35 | 27 ratings
Blissard
1996
3.72 | 39 ratings
Angels And Daemons At Play
1997
4.10 | 66 ratings
Trust Us
1998
3.99 | 53 ratings
Let Them Eat Cake
2000
4.28 | 78 ratings
Phanerothyme
2001
3.83 | 29 ratings
It's A Love Cult
2002
4.29 | 64 ratings
Motorpsycho + Jaga Jazzist Horns: In The Fishtank 10
2003
4.00 | 10 ratings
Motorpsycho Presents: The International Tussler Society
2004
4.01 | 54 ratings
Black Hole / Blank Canvas
2006
3.96 | 62 ratings
Little Lucid Moments
2008
3.50 | 31 ratings
Child Of The Future
2009
3.77 | 172 ratings
Heavy Metal Fruit
2010
4.20 | 343 ratings
Motorpsycho And Ståle Storløkken: The Death Defying Unicorn
2012
3.94 | 147 ratings
Still Life With Eggplant
2013
3.82 | 122 ratings
Behind The Sun
2014

MOTORPSYCHO Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.67 | 3 ratings
Roadwork Vol. 1: Heavy Metall Iz A Poze, Hardt Rock Iz A Laifschteil, Live In Europe 1998
1999
3.00 | 1 ratings
Roadwork Vol. 2: The MotorSourceMassacre, Motorpsycho, the Source & Deathprod, Live at Kongsberg Jazzfestival 1995
2000
4.11 | 10 ratings
Roadwork Vol.4: Intrepid Skronk
2011
3.80 | 5 ratings
Strings Of Stroop: Live At Effenaar
2011

MOTORPSYCHO Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

0.00 | 0 ratings
This Is Motorpsycho
1995
0.00 | 0 ratings
Hair Cuts: Motorpsycho On Film
2008

MOTORPSYCHO Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.57 | 7 ratings
8 Soothing Songs For Rut
1992

MOTORPSYCHO Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.05 | 2 ratings
Maiden Voyage
1990
3.00 | 1 ratings
Soothe
1992
3.00 | 1 ratings
3 Songs For Rut
1992
4.25 | 4 ratings
Mountain EP
1993
4.00 | 4 ratings
Another Ugly EP
1994
4.00 | 1 ratings
Wearing Yr Smell
1994
4.25 | 4 ratings
The Nerve Tattoo
1996
4.00 | 2 ratings
Manmower
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Baby Scooter
1997
4.00 | 1 ratings
Have Spacesuit Will Travel
1997
0.00 | 0 ratings
Lovelight
1997
4.33 | 3 ratings
Starmelt
1997
5.00 | 1 ratings
Ozone
1998
3.50 | 2 ratings
Hey, Jane
1998
3.50 | 2 ratings
Walkin' With J
1999
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Other Fool
2000
4.50 | 2 ratings
Barracuda
2001
3.50 | 6 ratings
Serpentine
2002

MOTORPSYCHO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Lobotomizer by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 1991
2.99 | 24 ratings

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Lobotomizer
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "Lobotomizer" is the debut full-length studio album by Norwegian hard rock act Motorpsycho. The album was released through Voices of Wonder in 1991. Initially in a limited amount of 1000 copies on vinyl and then in 1992 the album was released on CD.

The music style on the album is rather eclectic and the band incorporate everything from hard rock, heavy/thrash metal, stoner/sludge and industrial metal to the mix. While I realise I mention a lot of metal sub genres here, I wouldn´t really call much of the music metal. I´d call it metal tinged hard rock. It´s artists like Soundgarden and when the band are most heavy, like they are on tracks like "Hogwash" (which on a sidenote also feature a longer psychadelic rock tinged guitar solo) and especially "Wasted", an act like The Melvins that I´m reminded of. The industrial rock/metal influence is heard in the heavy, noisy and repetitive "Home of the Brave". I probably shouldn´t have mentioned thrash metal as an influence, as it´s such a small part of the band´s sound, but try listening to the opening riff on "Grinder" and tell me that´s not a thrashy riff right there.

For the time the sound production is pretty well sounding, but it´s a bit dated listening to the album with the ears of today. Had the album featured a more "timeless" sound production the music would probably have functioned even better than it already does.

...because overall "Lobotomizer" is quite a raw, well played and for the most part well written debut album by Motorpsycho. It should be mentioned that the band are a three-piece and that they employ "regular" rock instrumentation of bass, guitar, drums and vocals. Nothing too fancy, just pure raw rock´n´roll energy. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is warranted.

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 Maiden Voyage by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1990
2.05 | 2 ratings

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Maiden Voyage
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars "Maiden Voyage" is the debut demo release by Norwegian hard rock act Motorpsycho. It was released through Knallsyndikatet on cassette tape, limited to 100 numbered copies. The band have titled side 1 of the tape "Motor" and side 2 "Psycho". There are two tracks on each side of the tape. The two tracks on side "Motor" were recorded at UFFA in Trondheim between the 2nd and the 6th of January 1990. "How Was I to Know", which is the first track on side "Psycho", was recorded live in April 1990 and "Blueberry Daydream" was recorded at Studentradion in Trondheim in June 1990. The latter was later re-recorded for the "Another Ugly EP (1994)".

The music on the demo are predominantly raw and energetic hard rock. "Blueberry Daydream" shows a more mellow and semi-folky acoustic side of the band though. The band appear to be influenced greatly by acts like Nirvana and Soundgarden (the early releases by those acts). The sound quality, both on the studio tracks and on the live track, are raw and pretty much what you'd expect from a demo release from those days. There's a certain charm to the proceedings though and the raw sound production isn't much of an issue.

It's obvious that "Maiden Voyage" is a rather immature release and that the band still needed more time to find an identity (and a bit more practice on their instruments), but when that is said, the demo is actually both charming and enjoyable and I'd say a 2.5 star (50%) rating is fair.

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 Behind The Sun by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.82 | 122 ratings

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Behind The Sun
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

4 stars I have not heard so many of this years releases yet, I use to prefer old music but today I grabbed this Norwegian band "Motorpsycho's nineteenth studio album "Behind the sun" from 2014 and do you know I really liked it. The record is filled with perfection and a big knowledge in music. The record is an hou long and the cover is quite artistic with faces and coloured items and black lightenings.

There are nine songs are they are performed by Bent Saether who sings and plays bass, percussion, mellotron, organ and guitars, Hans Magnus Ryan who plays guitar and sings and Kenneth Kapstad who sings. Four guests are also present here: Reine Fiske, Ole Henrik Moe, Kari Rönnekleiv and Thomas Henriksen.

The music of Motorpsycho is very powerful and heavy but still very elegant and filled with interesting musical events. I find the record even too with perhaps just one song taht I am not very found of, the rest I very appeling. The sound is not very unlike the Swedish band Beardfish's even if this is harder and more instrumental. "Cloudwalker" is a great start with a text sung with a good English accent and a vivid and joyfull spirit(8/10). "The Magic & the wodner" (8/10)is one of my favourites where the guitar reminds me of the guitar in Caravan's music. The long "Hell, part 4-6: Traitor/The Tapestry/Swiss Cheese Mountain" is also a very good construction of tuens with a lot of instrumental gems(8/10). "The promise" is a fine example of tough intriguing hard rock(8/10). Other songs are calmer or experiment with drum solos.

Over all are my impressions of this album very good and I recommend you to hear it too. My favourite is "The Magic and the Wonder" but the whole album is worth listening to. There are no doubts this is a progressive band either, they have made their own style and they do it well!

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 Little Lucid Moments by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.96 | 62 ratings

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Little Lucid Moments
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by FragileKings

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.

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 Behind The Sun by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.82 | 122 ratings

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Behind The Sun
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Behind The Sun" is the 16th full-length studio album by Norwegian psychadelic rock/hard rock act Motorpsycho. The album was released through Stickman Records/Rune Grammofon in March 2014. "Behind The Sun" is available on CD, vinyl and as digital download. The CD and digital download versions of the album feature nine tracks, while the vinyl version features two instrumental bonus tracks. As an interesting gimmick the two vinyl bonus tracks are cut in parallel, which results in the needle randomly playing one of the two tracks, providing the listener with a suprise opening to the album upon each listen (the two tracks are placed as the first track(s) on side 1).

It hasn't been much more than a year since the release of "Still Life With Eggplant (2013)", but Motorpsycho have as always kept busy and have among other things toured Europe. Prolific Swedish musician Reine Fiske (Landberk, Paatos, Elephant9...etc.) once again helps out on electric and acoustic guitars and mellotron. The latter instrument is heard on almost every track on the album. Other than the more regular rock instrumentation of guitars, bass and drums (and the mentioned mellotron), which are for the most part played by the three-piece band, Motorpsycho are also helped out by Thomas Henriksen who plays piano (on "The Magic & The Wonder"), Ole Henrik Moe who plays saw (on "Cloudwalker (A Darker Blue)") and viola (on "Ghost" and "Kv'stor") and Kari R'nnekleiv who plays violin (on "Ghost").

Stylistically the music on "Behind The Sun" pretty much continue down the same psychadelic rock/hard rock path which "Still Life With Eggplant (2013)" also followed. To an extent where I'll dare call them sibling albums. The band are as always incredibly well playing and "Behind The Sun" is packed in a powerful, organic and warm sound production, which suits the music perfectly. "Behind The Sun" are among the most consistently great albums yet by Motorpsycho. There are zero filler material and no sections or tracks that don't feel like they belong. The album also features a great overall flow and even though it's around an hour long, it never feels like it overstays it's welcome. In fact I feel a strong urge to put it on again right after the busy jamming track "Hell, Pt. 7: Victim of Rock" closes the album.

While the tracks on the album are both consistent in quality and style, Motorpsycho are not a one-trick pony by any means. The core of their music might be rooted in psychadelic rock/hard rock of the late sixties/early seventies, and references to artists like (early seventies) Pink Floyd, Wishbone Ash (in their early seventies prime), Jefferson Airplane and Cream are valid enough, but they successfully incorporate stylistic elements from their influences to their music to create their own unique style, even adding a progressive element now and again. Hard rocking riffs, acoustic sections, psychadelic effects, mellow vocals and harmonies and the occasional mellotron wave are some of the elements that make up the band's sound on "Behind The Sun". Highlights include the 12:24 minutes long "Hell, Pt. 4-6: Traitor / The Tapestry / Swiss Cheese Mountain", the opening track "Cloudwalker (A Darker Blue)", the mellow "Ghost" and the above mentioned busy jamming track "Hell, Pt. 7: Victim of Rock", but as mentioned "Behind The Sun" is a very strong release throughout. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

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 Behind The Sun by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.82 | 122 ratings

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Behind The Sun
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by ingmin68

4 stars Never listened before to Motorpyscho: a total surprise for me, suggested by a streaming media (ehm...) and got hooked to this record immediately. Such a variety, from ballads (like "Ghost", in a Wilco-flavor style; or the really-superbe "Entropy") to rockers like "On a plate" and "The Promise", to more progressive numbers (all the other ones!?). 1 hour of music that's flying away in a whisper, with great ideas. Highly enthralling are "Cloudwalker" that reminds a little of Yes in the choruses,"The "Kvaestor" is astoundingly magnetic,with some craziness developed on a underlying loop, but also with great riffs. The minisuite "Hell 4-6" is also remarkable, and build similarly on accumulation to the end part, where up to 3/4 theres a variety of subtle and gentle nice guitars, flute and mellotron. "The magic & the Wonder" is more eclectic, though short in duration. The final "Hell" erupts with rock & fusion (?) in a free-form, improvised like - a closure that you couldn't expect from the previous pieces. As said in the beginning, a great album, no filler - all good and great. Most likely one of the top-3 2014 release (I'm curious to see which one could be at least at the same level...). Rating: 9/10

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 Behind The Sun by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.82 | 122 ratings

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Behind The Sun
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by tired_feet

4 stars 11 months since the last album, and Motorpsycho have no intention of resting on their laurels.

Behind The Sun can be described as a continuation of Still Life With Eggplant, only with a bigger focus on songwriting and arrangements. Behind The Sun contains 9 songs in 60 mins, and has a lot of stylistic diversity (maybe a little too much, actually)

The record starts off in awesome fashion with Cloudwalker and Ghost. The former having a really great lead riff accompanied by subtle mellotron. There's also an awesome bridge in there and a nice instrumental buildup to the last chorus. Ghost is a very mellow pastoral thingy, where a mellotron/string arrangement carry the song along with a shivery vocal delivery from Bent Sæther.

Individually, On A Plate is a good track. But its straightforward cock-rockish sound doesn't really fit this album, IMO. The Promise is an uptempo rocker, but it's way more catchy, complex and with a purpose. Great guitar-solo too. Kvæstor (incl. Where Greyhounds Dare) is an instrumental jam. It reminds me a bit of Whip That Ghost from Let Them Eat Cake (2000), but this one's way heavier and more complex (even the subtle Iron Maiden reference makes sense). The robotic strings in this one adds a nice touch.

Hell, Part 4-6 is the longest one (12 mins) on this album. Starts off with Part 4: Traitor which is kinda mellow and sets the main theme for this track. Part 5: The Tapestry is extremely atmospheric and consists of a mellotron/acoustic guitar fog. Then a beautiful melody rises from the fog before we return to the Traitor part briefly. Then Part 6: Swiss Cheese Mountain starts with a heavy, slightly Eastern-sounding jam that culminates in Prog Heaven. Great track!

Then another ballad, Entropy. This one is simply stunning! Hans Magnus Ryan takes lead vocals on this one (blistering guitar-solo as well), and Fiske really makes his presence felt here with some great guitar lines near the end. Beautiful melody, beautiful arrangement, and my personal favorite on here!

The Magic & The Wonder (A Love Theme) is a bit similar to The Promise in being an uptempo rocker. But this one has some great melodic guitar themes in it as well. Unfortunately for me, the album ends in chaotic fashion with Hell, Part 7: Victim Of Rock. This one is quite over the top, coupling the Hallucifuge-riff from Little Lucid Moments with the Hell, part 1-3 from the Eggplant. Then it turns really psychedelic as some kind of flanger- effect is thrown on, and everything/everyone sounds as if they're playing in a snowstorm. It has potential to grow (it's already started!), but I think of it as a subpar way to end this album.

So I give this one 4 stars, but it's actually closer to approx. 4,4 or something. I did give 4 stars to the previous one as well, but that one's closer to like 3,7 or 3,8. A couple minor misfires robs the top rating, but this is still a fantastic album with lots of progressive elements that could satisfy a lot of people on here. Recommended listening!

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 Behind The Sun by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.82 | 122 ratings

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Behind The Sun
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by Vellevold

5 stars Fantastic!

This exceptional trio have done it again, and for the second time in a row they have been joined by the Swedish psych-rock God Reine Fiske on guitars and mellotron. They are also joined by Ole Henrik Moe(saw and viola) and Kari Rønnekleiv(violin) on some of the tracks.

As expected, the music on this disc is really varied. They do in one way carry on with the track they have been on since the arrival of Kenneth Kapstad, but this time around the focus on songs seems to have been stronger than on the last couple of albums. The highlights for me are the opening track Cloudwalker, the instrumental Kvæstor (incl. Where Greyhounds Dare) and the epic Hell, part 4-6.

Cloudwalker has an amazingly cool main riff, and carries an overall good feeling. Kvæstor is a killer instrumental with a folk influenced main riff. The drive of this track is breathtaking. The robotic strings in the background also helps lift the song to new heights. Included in this track is also a homage to the Iron Maiden track, Where Eagles Dare, and it fits really nice into the context of the song.

The main highlight for me is without a doubt the epic Hell, part 4-6. The middle part with its acoustic guitars and mellotron is really beautiful, and the composition as a whole is flawless. You will get everything you want from an epic, and the finale of the song, with its guitar solo, will probably raise goosebumps on your arm.

In my ears, this album is a masterpiece. I can't find anything to complain about. You will get rockers, pop songs, jazz influences and pastoral acoustic songs. This is probably the most mellotron laden album they have made so far, and the production is perfect. I know there have been a very overstated use of adjectives in this review, but I will absolutely encourage all of you to check out this album.

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 Still Life With Eggplant by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.94 | 147 ratings

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Still Life With Eggplant
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Motorpsycho are an amazing band that have the power to mesmirise and inspire with their brand of heavy prog. The album that blew virtually everyone away is "The Death Defying Unicorn", a masterpiece that became a cult in the prog community, and one of the albums of the year for 2012. I remember how the music lifted me into another plane of existence as it simply nailed me to the couch with its inexorable power. The music blew the doors off any boundaries that may have been set in place for music convention and it was wrapped in a concept package. This time around with "Still Life With Eggplant" the band discard the concept and go for a bunch of diverse tracks that are boundary pushing but nowhere near as innovative as the previous album. They set the bar so high that it was almost impossible to reach those heights again I would suggest. In any case the album is still packed with some powerful tracks and wonderful musicianship.

It opens in a blaze of glory with 'Hell Parts 1-3' that has that deep resonating stoner guitar riff and psychedelic style of vocals. The riff jams along locking into place as the band launch into a jam and then it ends with a totally different melody outside of the previous form. It feels like a coda tacked on but it works well enough.

There are some grandiose spacey lead guitar breaks such as the lengthy break on 'Barleycorn (Let It Come/Let It Be)'. The intro has the same feel and melody as the Traffic song 'John Barleycorn Must Die' and this is intentional as it pays homage to the Traffic style. It sounds like a 70s song lifted from a Cream album or Traffic in all respects.

There is a mammoth epic on the album that clocks into 17 minutes, 'Ratcatcher' and this may wear its welcome out after so many minutes of free form jamming. The intro itself is ultra spacey and I love the way the bass builds into the soundscape. The glissando tremolo guitar reverberations are akin to the type of guitar on a Hawkwind album, and the style is totally removed from other material on the album. It suddenly launches into a freakout of pulsing bass, pounding drums and duel guitar licks. The vocals finally enter multilayered and psychedelic, "Save me, is this heaven or hell, ratcatcher!" I was reminded of another modern psych prog band The Ovals, or Diagonal, such as their 'Semi Permeable Men- Brain'. The recent Nik Turner album "Space Gypsy" captured this vintage sound too and it is a great retro throwback to the psychedelic 60s. Hawkwind's 70s music such as 'Orgone Accumulator' also rests on one riff and launches into a freakout lead break in the same style as this Motorpsycho track. The main component of the lengthy 'Ratcatcher' is an extended psych jam that is primarily spacey guitar played improv style over a grinding rhythm and bass section. The drums crash and cymbals splash as the tempo quickens and the lead guitar picking is more intense. There is a lot of sustain and high powered string bends with pedal effects and it begins to hypnotise after a few minutes. It felt as though it were a live concert played to a bunch of stoned followers, in the style of early Pink Floyd concert performances. The vocals return with a grand finale and then it leads into a quieter free form jazz coda till it is all over; one to really ponder over and a very bold track for the band.

The album certainly is a surprise as it is perhaps a simpler approach to the music then the previous release that was totally conceptual focussing on a ship lost at sea and how the crew fight for survival against incredible odds. There are only 5 tracks and none really jump out and measure up to the mind blowing stuff on TDDU. The band even opt for an acoustic ballad with 'The Afterglow' and go for a Cream guitar sound on the cover by Love 'August' that is more like the 1969 song from "Four Sail" than I would have expected for a song recorded in 2013. Motorpsycho are great at capturing the vintage sounds of days gone by when rock gods were born such as Hendrix, Clapton and Garcia. I liked the album a lot but to be honest was expecting something awesome, and it does not deliver in the same way as their previous album; playing it safer and thus draining dry most of the creativity that made them such a powerful prog force on "The Death Defying Unicorn".

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 Still Life With Eggplant by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.94 | 147 ratings

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Still Life With Eggplant
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak

4 stars I've never quite fallen under the spell of Motorpsycho but after last year's sophisticated rock opera, The Death Defying Unicorn, and hearing that Reine Fiske had been lured on board for this one, I couldn't resist.

1. "Hell Parts 1-3" (9:47). The first "part" of this song--which contains a multi-layered harmonized vocal--reminds me very much of an amped up CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG circa 1970. Around the 4:50 mark an instrumental section begins which reminds me very much of the work of EDGAR WINTER GROUP and around 1973. The third part, beginning at the 7:15 mark, is a stripped down, funky instrumental section set up to support a kind of HENDRIX-like solo guitar display by Reine Fiske. Okay song with nothing particularly ground-breaking or earth-shatteringly engaging. (8/10)

2. "August" (4:53) opens with a CREAM-like intro before settling into a kind of Southern Rock groove. The bridges between the first two vocal-supporting A Sections are interesting and unusual--kind of Zappa-like. The guitar solo section is also entertaining though it's nothing better than anything the Allman Brothers did. (8/10)

3. "Barleycorn (Let It Come/Let I t Be)" (7:19) begins auspiciously like the TRAFFIC song of its namesake. The vocals enter with a whispery approach and are then amplified and multiplied as the singers wind up for the "Let it come, Let it be" chorus section. The second A Section is quite magical with the play of the slide guitar, more animated drums, and heavier sound. By far the best sound of the album so far. Nice guitar solo against this same storm- like musical background until the 5:00 mark when things back off and quite down for a bit. But then, instead of the expected reappearance of vocals the guitar solo continues and the band starts building toward a crescendo and then the vocals rejoin! Awesome song with some great spacey sounds working their way in and out throughout and some really nice multi-layered vocal work. (9/10)

4. "Ratcatcher" (17:10) begins with about 90 seconds of some spacey-echoed guitar pickings and arpeggios before the bass, keys, and guitars kind of go off each in their own "tuning" directions. Then suddenly with a burst at the 2:15 mark, the band bursts forth in full song unison (somewhat reminiscent of the sound and style of the final two songs on The Death Defying Unicorn). A vocal section begins before the song wanders off into a prolonged "solo" in which two guitars explore their psychedelic freedom over some awesome jazzy support from the drums and bass. Both guitars are quite interesting to follow but I find myself drawn more to the drumming and bass playing each time I listen to this section. At 8:40 the song begins to sound like everybody is coming back together but instead a more Neil Young-styled guitar solo ensues in the left channel while the right channel's guitarist plays a more chord-oriented support role. At 10:55 Fiske signals his return to the fold and soon the vocals rejoin?all this going on over the awesome play of the rhythm section. At 12:15 the shout of "Ratcatcher!" signals the end of that section. Everything slows and winds down like a dying watch until the 13:35 mark where first a single guitar picks out a little melody, then the second guitar joins in and the more subdued drums and bass rejoin, this time in support of the right channel guitarist's extended though quite mellow solo. Again, I can't help but tune into and enjoy the subtle playfulness of the bass and drums during this section. The song's final 90 seconds are left to the heavily effected psychedelic soundings of the two guitarists. Cool song kind of in the vein of country-mates MY BROTHER THE WIND, except with a bit more structure and, of course, vocals. (9/10)

5. "The Afterglow" (5:57) is a fairly gentle rock song sounding incredibly similar to some of the acoustic guitar-based vocal sections of Toby Driver from the 2001 MAUDLIN OF THE WELL albums Bath and Leaving Your Body Map. Even the chord sequences from the second section in which the whole band has come together are SO moTW! (though there is a little RADIOHEAD-like guitar play going on with it.) At 3:20 the rhythm and sounds take on a much more 70s CREAM-like feel before falling back into a kind of CSN& Y/ YOUNGBLOODS/ALLMAN BORTHERS music style and sound (including some cowbell!). Nice guitar solos beginning around the 3:30 mark. The vocals from the 4:45 mark on are screamy in a BECK Odelay-kind of way. I like this song very much. (9/10)

Though there are no songs that really knock my socks off on this album, it is a solid, creative, melodic, and enjoyable listen--especially as one gets past the more mundane first two songs.

Four stars: Recommended to all music lovers.

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