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Motorpsycho Still Life With Eggplant album cover
3.94 | 181 ratings | 6 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Hell, Part 1-3 (9:47)
2. August (4:52)
3. Barleycorn (Let It Come/Let It Be) (7:18)
4. Ratcatcher (17:10)
5. The Afterglow (5:57)

Total Time: 45:07

Line-up / Musicians

- Bent Sæther / vocals, bass, guitars, keyboards, producer
- Hans Magnus "Snah" Ryan / guitars, vocals, keyboards
- Kenneth Kapstad / drums

- Reine Fiske / acoustic (2,3) & electric (3-5) guitars, Mellotron (5)
- Thomas Henriksen / keyboards (3), mixing

Note: The actual instrumentation could not be fully confirmed at this moment

Releases information

Artwork: Kim Hiorthøy

CD Rune Grammofon RCD2143 (2013 Norway)
LP Rune Grammofon RLP3143 (2013 Norway)*
LP Stickman Records Psychobabble 077 (2013 Germany)

* Also released in a white vinyl limited edition (300 ex)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MOTORPSYCHO Still Life With Eggplant ratings distribution

(181 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

MOTORPSYCHO Still Life With Eggplant reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Still Life With Eggplant" is the 15th full-length studio album by Norwegian psychadelic rock/hard rock act Motorpsycho. The album was released through Stickman Records/Rune Grammofon in April 2013.

After releasing what is arguably their most progressive effort to date in "The Death Defying Unicorn (2012)", we´re back in more familiar psychadelic rock/hard rock territories with "Still Life With Eggplant". The music is playful, jamming and laid back. Fuzzy guitars/bass, organic drumming and dreamy mellow vocals (at times the vocals remind me of mid-70s Wishbone Ash). The tracks alternative between structured sections with vocals and more loose jamming sections. Typically with guitar solos and organic rythmic playing not completely unlike artists like Jimi Hendrix and Cream. The jamming drags on slightly too long in the 17:10 minutes long "Ratcatcher" but otherwise I think the material on the 5 track, 45:07 minutes long album, are pretty well balanced. The sound production is detailed, warm and organic, which suits the music perfectly.

The band are exceptionally well playing. A confident, tight and organic sounding unit. Paired with the warm and organic sounding production this is pure bliss to my ears.

"Still Life With Eggplant" is not nearly as adventurous as it´s predecessor, but if you ask me, Motorpsycho are best when they rock out and in that respect "Still Life With Eggplant" is a more interesting album than "The Death Defying Unicorn (2012)" (which is more interesting than "Still Life With Eggplant" in some other areas). Their diversity is one of their strengths though and I wouldn´t have it any other way and enjoy most of their output however "different" some of it are. "Still Life With Eggplant" might be one of their more "safe" efforts but but it´s still a very strong release and a 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is deserved.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
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".

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars MOTORPSYCHO's last three studio albums have been nothing short of incredible in my opinion. I feel that this one and "Behind The Sun" are in the same style, more "Rock" albums but certainly more adventerous than your average Rock band. I just really dig everything about these two albums as they recall the music of my youth. "The Death Defying Unicorn" is a different beast, a much more adventerous and proggier recording and the one i'd rate as the best of the three. Reine Fiske from LANDBERK, PAATOS, DUNGEN etc. adds some innovative guitar on all but the opening track. Thankfully he was back for the 2015 release "Behind The Sun".

"Hell Part 1-3" is the almost 10 minute opener. A slow but heavy intro kicks into gear 2 minutes in and man this sounds good. Vocals before 3 minutes but they stop a minute later. The guitar is ripping it up 5 minutes in as the drums pound. Just an amazing section here. Vocals are back 6 1/2 minutes in but again they stop a minute later as it calms right down with drums and bass only. Nice. Guitar 8 minutes in as it stays laid back right to the end.

"August" is powerful and all instrumental to start and I must say I love this. I'm reminded of ZEPPELIN actually with the guitar and sound then it settles right down as the vocals join in. Contrasts continue. I miss August as we're getting a snow storm at the moment with high winds. This is such a feel good tune for me. Check out the guitar before 3 minutes, so good as it goes on and on for 1 1/2 minutes. "Barleycorn(Let It Come/ Let It Be)" opens with intricate guitar melodies as reserved vocals join in. It's fuller a minute in but still understated until it turns more powerful before 1 1/2 minutes. A calm follows with reserved vocals and intricate guitar like earlier as contrasts continue. I like how this builds then calms back down. Nice guitar before 4 1/2 minutes in this powerful section including some vocal melodies before it calms back down. It's building again until it kicks in before 6 1/2 minutes.

"Ratcatcher" is the over 17 minute epic. Atmosphere and interesting guitar expressions to start. It's building and the vocals join in before 3 minutes. It settles back a minute later as we get some inventive instrumental work. Love this stuff! It feels like they are jamming. It's becoming more intense after 7 minutes. Fiske is insane! Vocals return after 11 minutes then stop 1 1/2 minutes later as it settles down quite a bit until it's quiet 13 1/2 minutes in as they continue to jam but in a laid back manner to the end. "The Afterglow" reminds me of a late sixties Psyche-Folk song for the first 2 plus minutes with soft vocals before it turns fuller as the drums join in before 2 1/2 minutes and the vocals are stronger too. The vocals stop and we get this all instrumental section that is quite powerful with the guitar lighting it up over top. Vocals are back late.

A top three album for me for 2013 and one I highly recommend.

Latest members reviews

3 stars I haven't heard much of Motorpsycho's work (as of yet), but from what I've read they are a versatile band, trying to do a different kind of album every time. However, from what I did listen to (their later work), it all falls under the heavy acid and garage rock moniker, influenced by the likes ... (read more)

Report this review (#1370253) | Posted by Progrussia | Wednesday, February 18, 2015 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Another year, another Motorpsycho album. Still Life With Eggplant is considered a "leftover" album, consisting of songs written for Heavy Metal Fruit and The Death Defying Unicorn, but not making either of those albums for various reasons. So don't expect a unifying concept on this album. The alb ... (read more)

Report this review (#944130) | Posted by tired_feet | Monday, April 15, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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