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Motorpsycho - Blissard CD (album) cover

BLISSARD

Motorpsycho

 

Eclectic Prog

3.28 | 50 ratings

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TCat
4 stars 'Blissard' is the fifth full studio album from Motorpsycho, and it has a more structured feel than the previous albums. The band decided to try bringing finished songs into the studio, for the most part, instead of bringing half finished songs and experimenting and messing around with them until they get the sound they want, as they did on precious albums. At first glance, the art work doesn't look like anything except a blured picture of a teddy bear, but looking closer, you will see that it is actually Mickey Mouse.

This one starts out with 'Sinful, Wind-Bourne', which starts out sounding psychedelic and then suddenly exploding into a jangly riff of twin guitars and a sort of funky feel with quickly strummed guitars. The song has a carefree feel, sort of a California style rock with a slight stoner edge. Not completely straightforward, you hear the band experiment with progressive traits towards the middle, but it stays in a more alternative rock vein with some dissonance thrown in for good measure.

'Drug Thing' is a bit darker with a tricky riff and gruffer vocals. The carefree feeling is still there, but you can tell the songs follow a more definite structure. For first time listeners, this might be hard to imagine, but those familiar will note the difference. As is typical of Motorpsycho, even though the tracks are upbeat, they are not in a hurry to get through instrumental sections as they let their songs develop. This one features some great guitar sections.

'Greener' has a more chugging feel with a heavy, mid-tempo beat and throbbing stoner guitars which drop off for the verses, which have a subdued, mysterious feel. As it nears the chorus, things intensify. The pattern repeats for the 2nd verse. The instrumental break continues the intensity generated by the chorus, then drops off to a softer sound which builds on itself again before blasting into heavenly solid guitars.

' 'S Numbness' comes next, and almost immediately explodes into a punk sounding riff which as it progresses becomes more rock centered but with some cool vocal textures added in and a synth melody added later.

'The Nerve Tattoo' starts with a more alternative/heavy sound but has a cool synth riff in the chorus, almost sounding like a rocked-out 'Super Furry Animals' sound. Great addition of violin in the 2nd verse which continues to create a nice effect in the instrumental break.

'True Middle' calms things down a bit with a bass, plucked strings, atmospheric effects and a processed vocal which is more spoken than sung. This song takes you into the more experimental part of the album. After a while, a dark riff comes in, and then calms to the mysterious psychedelic feel again. The pattern repeats, but this time builds on the riff to a chaotic crescendo before releasing the tension.

'S.T.G.' continues with the experimental feel with an almost 10 minute track. It starts with soft guitars, still in a dark mood. There is a build after a while, then a churning guitar riff comes in with vocals to follow. There are a few verses, the music builds in intensity, then goes absolutely crazy with dissonance and noise, then it drops off at the 6:30 mark to where we began with a softer guitar section with psychedelic leanings and nice effects which finishes off the track.

'Manmower' begins with an alternative flair with a mid-tempo rhythm and slightly subdued vocals with odd harmonies later giving an almost shoegaze feel, but not quite. Some great mellotron added in the last half turns everything to a psychedelic feel.

'Fools Gold' is more acoustic with processed vocals giving it the psychedelic feel. The sound uses unique chord changes to keep it from sounding like your typical unplugged sound. What almost sounds like a banjo being plucked is added later.

The last track is 'Nathan Daniel's Tune From Hawaii'. This one starts out quite ambient with some interesting sounds and textures.

Even though the music follows more of a structured songwriting process, it still has that rough edge to it that makes you think that it is improvised, which is one of the band's strengths. Many considered this album to be more accessible, and it might be on the first half of the album, but the 2nd half is much more experimental and psychedelic. It has good variety among the tracks, and even features some progressive elements, but is still a ways away from the progressive masterpieces that would be released some years later. But, since Motorpsycho is considered Eclectic Prog, it only makes sense that they have tried many different styles, sometimes hitting the target dead on and other times almost missing it completely. At least they are daring and always try new things, so their sound never gets tiring. As for this album, it's not perfect, but it is still excellent, better than some, but not as good as some of their best.

TCat | 4/5 |

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