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MOTORPSYCHO

Eclectic Prog • Norway


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Motorpsycho biography
Founded in Trondheim, Norway, in 1989

MOTORPSYCHO was formed initially of Bent SÆTHER (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 Håkon 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 "Mountain EP".

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 to 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 their own label ...
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CrucibleCrucible
Rune Grammofon 2019
$21.74
$24.07 (used)
Behind the SunBehind the Sun
Rune Grammofon 2014
$11.57
$29.12 (used)
TowerTower
Imports 2017
$21.03
$22.43 (used)
Black Hole / Blank CanvasBlack Hole / Blank Canvas
Stickman 2006
$10.23
$8.08 (used)
Little Lucid MomentsLittle Lucid Moments
Stickman 2008
$13.13
$3.97 (used)
Trust UsTrust Us
Stickman 2003
$18.91
$20.16 (used)
Demon BoxDemon Box
Rune Grammofon 2015
$25.04
$26.22 (used)
Still Life With EggplantStill Life With Eggplant
STICKMAN 2013
$27.24
$31.79 (used)
It's a Love CultIt's a Love Cult
Stickman 2003
$11.99
$4.35 (used)
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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)

3.01 | 40 ratings
Lobotomizer
1991
3.77 | 59 ratings
Demon Box
1993
3.84 | 86 ratings
Timothy's Monster
1994
3.14 | 22 ratings
The Tussler
1994
3.28 | 50 ratings
Blissard
1996
3.50 | 59 ratings
Angels And Daemons At Play
1997
4.08 | 93 ratings
Trust Us
1998
3.92 | 68 ratings
Let Them Eat Cake
2000
4.14 | 109 ratings
Phanerothyme
2001
3.83 | 51 ratings
It's A Love Cult
2002
4.11 | 84 ratings
Motorpsycho & Jaga Jazzist Horns: In The Fishtank
2002
3.84 | 22 ratings
Motorpsycho Presents The International Tussler Society
2004
3.61 | 67 ratings
Black Hole / Blank Canvas
2006
3.89 | 101 ratings
Little Lucid Moments
2008
3.56 | 50 ratings
Child Of The Future
2009
3.78 | 213 ratings
Heavy Metal Fruit
2010
4.16 | 458 ratings
Motorpsycho & Ståle Storløkken: The Death Defying Unicorn
2012
3.94 | 181 ratings
Still Life With Eggplant
2013
4.01 | 312 ratings
Behind The Sun
2014
3.85 | 119 ratings
Here Be Monsters
2016
3.74 | 12 ratings
Begynnelser
2017
4.02 | 199 ratings
The Tower
2017
3.69 | 53 ratings
The Crucible
2019

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

4.44 | 9 ratings
Roadwork Vol. 1 - Heavy Metall Iz A Poze, Hardt Rock Iz A Laifschteil - Live In Europe 1998
1999
4.50 | 4 ratings
Roadwork Vol. 2 - The MotorSourceMassacre - Motorpsycho, The Source & Deathprod Live At Kongsberg Jazzfestival 1995
2000
4.13 | 14 ratings
Roadwork Vol. 4 - Intrepid Skronk
2011
3.67 | 6 ratings
Strings Of Stroop - Live At Effenaar
2011
4.50 | 12 ratings
Motorpsycho and Ståle Storløkken: En Konsert For Folk Flest
2015
4.00 | 1 ratings
A Boxful Of Demons
2018
5.00 | 1 ratings
Roadwork Vol. 3 - The Four Norsemen Of The Apocalypse - Live At The Paradiso, Amsterdam, November 23, 2002
2018
5.00 | 1 ratings
Roadwork Vol. 5 - Field Notes - The Fantastic Expedition Of Järmyr, Ryan, Sæther & Lo - Live In Europe 2017
2018

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

5.00 | 2 ratings
This Is Motorpsycho
1995
4.00 | 2 ratings
Hair Cuts - Motorpsycho On Film
2008

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

3.18 | 9 ratings
8 Soothing Songs For Rut
1992
0.00 | 0 ratings
Angels And Daemons At Play
1997
4.00 | 3 ratings
Timothy's Monster - Deluxe Edition
2010
3.67 | 3 ratings
Blissard - Deluxe Edition
2012
4.25 | 4 ratings
Demon Box - Deluxe Edition
2014
4.75 | 4 ratings
Supersonic Scientists - A Young Person's Guide To Motorpsycho
2015
3.50 | 2 ratings
Angels And Daemons At Play - Deluxe Edition
2016

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

2.05 | 2 ratings
Maiden Voyage
1990
3.00 | 2 ratings
Soothe
1992
3.00 | 2 ratings
3 Songs For Rut
1992
0.00 | 0 ratings
Motorpsycho
1992
0.00 | 0 ratings
Motorpsycho / Hedge Hog: Into The Sun / Surprise
1993
3.86 | 7 ratings
Mountain EP
1993
4.00 | 5 ratings
Another Ugly EP
1994
0.00 | 0 ratings
Leave It Like That
1994
3.00 | 3 ratings
Wearing Yr Smell
1994
3.80 | 5 ratings
The Nerve Tattoo
1995
4.00 | 2 ratings
Manmower
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Motorpsycho / Alice Cooper: Mad Sun / Nobody Likes Me
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Motorpsycho & Tre Små Kinesere: Mot Riving
1997
3.00 | 3 ratings
Baby Scooter
1997
4.50 | 2 ratings
Have Spacesuit Will Travel
1997
3.00 | 1 ratings
Lovelight
1997
0.00 | 0 ratings
Sinful, Wind-Borne
1997
4.00 | 5 ratings
Starmelt EP
1997
4.33 | 3 ratings
Ozone
1998
3.67 | 3 ratings
Hey, Jane
1998
4.00 | 2 ratings
The Other Fool EP
2000
1.30 | 4 ratings
Walkin' With J EP
2000
3.11 | 10 ratings
Barracuda
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Slow Phaseout
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
Go To California
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
Motorpsycho / The Soundtrack Of Our Lives: Go To California / Black To Comm / Broken Imaginary Time / Galaxy Gramophone
2002
0.00 | 0 ratings
Serpentine
2002
3.50 | 6 ratings
Serpentine EP
2002
0.00 | 0 ratings
Motor Home: Country Chris / Life Is A Little Lie
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
Motorpsycho Presents The International Tussler Society - Satan's Favourite Son
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Motorpsycho Presents The International Tussler Society - Laila Lou
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Hyena / Bonny Lee
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
X-3 (Knuckleheads In Space)
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Visitant
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
Motorpsycho / Sugarfoot: Stay Young / These Are Days
2014
2.00 | 1 ratings
The Ninth Fragment - Toys
2014
3.00 | 4 ratings
The Motorpnakotic Manuscripts
2014
0.00 | 0 ratings
Psychonaut / Toys
2015
0.00 | 0 ratings
Spin, Spin, Spin
2016
4.75 | 4 ratings
Here Be Monsters Vol. 2
2016
3.00 | 1 ratings
The California EP
2017
0.00 | 0 ratings
Terje Brekkstads Kosmiske Reise (pts 1 & 2)
2019

MOTORPSYCHO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Child Of The Future by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.56 | 50 ratings

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Child Of The Future
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Child of the Future is Motorpsycho's 13 full length studio album. It is also one of their shorter albums at just over 37 minutes. It was released as a celebration of the bands 20th anniversary and was only released on vinyl. It has a somewhat rough edge to the production almost giving it a live feeling. The mixing is done so as to not let anything stand out above anything else and this works to the album's benefit in some aspects, but works against it in others.

Some of the tracks have a definite psychedelic and space rock style which is helped along by the fuzzy production and flat mixing sound like in the tracks "Riding the Tiger" and the multi-tempo track "Whole Lotta Diana", which actually makes the track very 70s like (as the layered vocals of Jefferson Airplane or the instrumental jamming of Hawkwind). In this manner, these songs sound more loyal to the old space rock and krautrock styles. In other places, you get that cleaner hard rock sound as in "The Ozzylot (Hidden in a Girl)", the vulnerability of the more mellow and psych-acoustic "The Waiting Game" or the complexity of "Mr. Victim".

Another standout is "Cornucopia ( . . . Or Satan, Uh . . . Something)" which leans toward a complex progressive piece along the lines of a Heavy Prog track with some really awesome bass, piano and vocal stylings. You would almost swear you were listening to some early pre-"Joker" Steve Miller Band with the "rough around the edges" feel.

I'm not really sure why this album has only received a few reviews that gave it only an average rating. It may have something to do with the album's availability. I find the album unique and interesting, the songs are much more interesting than on some of their more alternative sounding albums. I especially love the rough sound of this album, almost like it was recorded more off- the-cuff than some of their slicker recordings. It gives the album that authentic space rock and psychedelic feel overall. I understand that this rough sound isn't for everyone, but I think any pure psych/space rock aficionado would love the sound of this album. No, it's not the band's best, but it is definitely better than average, so I give it 4 stars and consider it another one of Motorpsycho's successes.

 Timothy's Monster by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.84 | 86 ratings

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Timothy's Monster
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 The Crucible by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.69 | 53 ratings

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The Crucible
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Motorpsycho' just keeps putting out great albums, especially recently, with their music being more progressive than ever. All throughout their years of releasing many studio albums, EPs and singles, the main two individuals who formed the band have been there; Bent Saether on vocals, bass and etc., and Hans Magnus Ryan also on vocals and guitars. There have been a few different drummers with the band, 5 to be exact, with the latest drummer having been added to the band on their previous album 'The Tower'. Tomas Jarmyr remains in place on this album also. The album is only comprised of 3 tracks, but they are all epic which the last one being over 20 minutes long. The overall sound is an exciting blend of classic progressive with some stoner rock mixed in.

'Psychotzar' starts with a heavy riff similar to early 'Black Sabbath'. The sound is dark and heavy and during the chorus, you can also hear mellotron in there. After two verses, there is that trademark fuzz guitar solo that we know and love from Motorpsycho already. The vocals are then processed a bit to give that psychedelic sound as it enters a different theme. Excellent guitar solos split the verses up before it goes into a longer instrumental break which shows off their progressive yet stoner edge. Things calm down at around the 5:30 mark and become more mysterious sounding and vocals return on yet a 3rd theme. It soon intensifies and the theme is repeated at a higher volume with more guitar support and a progressive riff is built upon until the end.

'Lux Aeterna' begins with acoustic guitar and harmonized vocals with the melody being a bit more complex than you might expect. This track builds a bit with more of a progressive sound with a slight folk feel. Its hard to believe all of this music, which is somewhat sympohonic is made by 3 guys, but there you have it. There is some brass in there which definitely isn't hidden, more keyboards are also prevalent in this track. The track has a more early King Crimson vibe to it, but of course without really copying anything, that comparison is just there to give you an idea. Very nice. Before the 5 minute mark, there is a heavier sound as the theme changes and this section becomes a lot more complex and chaotic, still keeping that early KC vibe, and doing it quite well I might add. Brass and guitar fight and argue together as the mellotron anchors it all together. Before 7 minutes, everything evens out to a slower tempo as the guitar improvises and churns up a bit more intensity in a soaring solo. After 8 minutes, it all calms down again returning to the soft feel at the beginning with harmonized vocals again. A minute later, you think the track is over, but it bursts into quite a cinematic ending with everything playing around the theme.

'The Crucible' continues with the epic feel of the tracks on this album with this 20+ minute monster. After a quick build, the guitar, aided by some keyboards, build upon a theme while drums work to build intensity. After a while, this resolves and then builds upon another theme, this one more in the line of space rock. Once things reach a plateau, the guitar improvises around the theme again. The bass is definitely more noticeable in this track also. Things calm again and everything works around a new theme. Vocals don't come in until around 5:30. The lyrics are more important on this track and the verses are quite long, are more progressive and have much more depth. Just before the 10 minute mark, a loud and psychedelic guitar solo and dissonant drone breaks loose. Heaviness ensues and it sounds excellent! The solo guitar wails against the wall of noise surrounding it like a banshee trying to break loose of it's chains. Suddenly, after the 13 minute mark, things level out as vocals start again backed up by the band and keyboards, then that suddenly drops off to almost ambience as things get pianissimo for a minute. There is then a sudden outburst as a new section is quickly introduced and the guitar gets another grand solo. At 17 minutes, everything culminates to the original theme backed with the band and more mellotron. Things eventually return to calmness but intensity quickly builds and the band gets one more last finale before the end as everything resolves around a major chord and a bright ending.

This is really a good album by Motorpsycho, and they still retain their progressive edge while they mix in that more stoner feel from their earlier days, but it still sounds amazing. I was never one to complain about the length of Motorpsycho's albums when they are at their best, like the album 'Behind the Sun' because I can listen to that style of music all day. But this album is definitely too short and I feel it might have been a bit rushed. I still feel it is one of the best albums so far this year, just not quite as good as it could have been. The band has raised the bar so much in the past, it's hard not to rate their albums against their best, which is usually what happens when reviewing a band like this. Anyway, it is definitely worth your while to hear this album. Great music, excellent album, but not quite their best.

 The Tussler by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.14 | 22 ratings

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The Tussler
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Through their career, Motorpsycho has released a lot of albums and EPs, and they have explored a lot of different genres, including excellent progressive rock. Sometimes they are a little questionable, but sometimes doing quite well. In their early years, they played some decent stoner rock, and it was during this time that they went completely out of their element and did a country rock soundtrack to an imaginary western movie. The trio added several other musicians and put out this album, and later this incarnation of the band became known as 'The International Tussler Society'. The put out this album, rejoined a few times to do some live shows, and in 2004 released a 2nd album. These albums are shown together with the rest of Motorpsycho's discography.

So, this is far from progressive rock, at least on this, their 4th album, as it is straight out alternative country rock. As far as that style goes, they do a pretty believable job of it, even for being from Norway. They play a lot of covers and originals. The album doesn't really sound much like a soundtrack as it does a bunch of country songs with an alternative flair. The 'theme' is an instrumental bluegrass song, but the others are all alt-country. They have a slightly garage sound to their style of alt-country, so it doesn't have that 'perfect' sound that popular country has, thank goodness.

I can at least give this a 3 star rating since it is a lot of fun and a decent enough album for the style of music it is. They released 2 reissues through the year, one in 1996, where they added 4 more tracks, and then again in 2003, where they added even another 6 bonus tracks to that, so if you find this latest reissue, you get a total of 21 tracks and that's not too bad for the price. Anyway, if you like your alt-country in the style of 'Widespread Panic' or 'Leftover Salmon' then this will appeal to you. But, for a progressive rock site, it really doesn't have anything to offer except for a fun time.

 Blissard by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.28 | 50 ratings

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Blissard
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Black Hole / Blank Canvas by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.61 | 67 ratings

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Black Hole / Blank Canvas
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars "Black Hole/Blank Canvass" is the first Motorpsycho album without their long-time drummer, so they were now down to 2 regular members. This double album, released in 2006, shows Motorpsycho continuing to expand and experiment with styles. It is also their 11th full length album.

We start out with 3 tracks that are somewhat straightforward stoner style rock, though the first one is the most appealing track, but other than being good rockers with a slight unfinished edge to them, there isn't much else interesting here. But from "Kill Devil Falls" on, the music suddenly takes on a very psychedelic feel with some experimentation going on, which makes the music more unique and keeps you interested, but it can take some time for it to grow on you.

This album is an interesting beast, because has got a lot of great and interesting tracks on it, but it also seems somewhat unpolished, which both works for and against it. There are passages that seem to go by without a lot of development, then all of a sudden, there is something added that turns the track from mediocre to quite amazing, one specific case is "Critical Mass" where we have a psychedelic feel through the first half of the song which feels really flat and uninteresting, then there is a sudden almost orchestral addition to the song that suddenly brings it to life, and everything just makes total sense. Expect this to happen throughout this album.

Then there is the matter of the vocals on this album. They sound slightly hesitant and unsure, and this works well at times, but many times it tends to bring the overall quality down a bit. The unpolished sound works well for the psychedelic aspect of the album however. The album has sort of a structured/spontaneous feel, if that makes any sense. There is definite direction that the band wants to go with each track, but when it gets there, it almost seems like it was by accident. Its like they stumble on to a certain riff or sound and then they flip everything on its end and turn it into something amazing.

"Devil Dog" is a definite highlight on the first album, with a unique sound that stays mostly subdued, but then suddenly explodes into a nice complex heavy section in the middle. Then there is "Triggerman" which has an awful lyrical section, but the instrumental section is just plain killer! Other highlights are "Sail On", the space rock inspired "L.T.E.C. (Deja-Vulture Blues)", and the jazz fusion track "Before the Flood". Low points are when they try to go alternative and don't do so well as on "The Ace", "In Our Tree", "Hyena", "Coalmine Pony".

It's hard for me to decide. The band didn't quite perfect their sound on this one as if they weren't sure what do to without their third member, but then sometimes they suddenly turn things around making their insecurities into strengths that end up making the strong sections even more powerful. I guess I could say I love about half of the album and the other half I feel is lacking. The problem is, it can have both traits in one track. That makes the album seem somewhat disjointed, but there are some very awesome passages here that still make this a worthwhile album.

In summary, I guess that means that this is not the best album to enter into the world of Motorpsycho with, I would probably start with "Behind the Sun" especially for Progressive lovers. However, this is not an album to completely ignore either, so I would come back to it later, when you are more familiar with just how great this band can be. Those that love psychedelic and/or stoner rock would probably love this album though.

 Behind The Sun by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.01 | 312 ratings

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Behind The Sun
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars 'Behind the Sun' was released in 2014 and was another of many Motorphsycho albums. This album had an interesting thing about the vinyl version. It was a double album, but the music from the album fit on 3 sides. On the A side of the album, it is noted that there is an etching, but there is also a double etched track that features 2 instrumental songs. The song that plays is determined by where the record needle is put down on the track. Both of these songs are about the same length, nearing 4 minutes long and neither one of them is available on the CD or download versions of the album, only on the vinyl. Unfortunately, I have not heard them because I don't own the vinyl. But it's a neat little hidden surprise for those that do.

This is one of Motorpsycho's more progressive albums. You will swear, with the classic vibe that runs through this album, that you have been transported back to the heyday of progressive rock, namely, the 70's. You get a heavy dose of stoner, psychedelic, progressive amazing-ness,

'Cloudwalker (A Darker Blue)' starts off the album, officially that is. Right away you notice the tricky rhythm and the nice progressive sound. The melody is reminiscent of 70's style progressive rock and it grabs your attention right away. There is great guitar, and the mellotron sticks out quite well during the instrumental break, and there is a nice acoustic, folksy feel during this time, but otherwise it is a fairly heavy, yet the rhythm is not your standard meter, and that makes it all an excellent sound.

'Ghost' comes next. Like the last track, it lasts a little over 6 minutes, and has lead vocals from Bent Saether, who has the mellower voice of the 2 lead singers. This one starts off on a more acoustic and slower tempo, and the mellotron comes in early, giving this a classic and amazing sound. The vocals have a softer edge with the right amount of vulnerability to them. Very pensive and nice. The 2nd verse adds some effects to the vocals and some other interesting accompaniment that gives it that psychedelic feel that will make you think you are listening to an awesome band from an earlier decade that for some reason you completely missed. Beautifully done.

'On a Plate' is a more hard rock oriented sound, but still retains a tricky guitar riff keeping things progressive. Hans Ryan has the lead on this, and his vocals are gruffer and fit the feel of the harder tracks. This one features a great guitar solo over the top of another guitar doing this amazing hard riff. It also has a great psychedelic vibe underlying everything. 'The Promise' carries forward with the same general feel, but there is some alternating acoustic and electric riffs. This one is also more complex sounding than the last, but still just as great. Again, there is another kickin' guitar solo in the middle.

'Kvaestor [incl. Where Greyhounds Dare]' has a complex beginning with crazy drums, a fairly basic guitar riff against a repeating background that all somehow fits together nicely. The guitars get a bit crazy and chaotic as they take charge of this instrumental. Things pull themselves back into order as the double guitar riff re-establishes itself. When everything breaks down, there is a lot of feedback against wild drumming. Things go psychedelic for a minute, then the music kicks around a bit with it's wild meter before returning to the riff again, this time with more improvisation involved before a dose of more psychedelia tears the track apart. This is 7 minutes that goes by way to quickly.

'Hell Pts 4 ' 6: Traitor/The Tapestry/Swiss Cheese Mountain' countinues the multi suite that started on the previous album 'Still Life With Eggplant'. Starting with a mid tempo beat and a nice mellow, folk sound, you would think you were almost listening to Paul Simon at times, except for that excellent multi-electric guitar interlude after the 2nd verse. After a while, it changes to an ambient, somewhat subdued, acoustic guitar with some mellotron added in for atmosphere. The ambience lasts for a lot longer than you expect, but it gives everything a nice, peaceful setting. Then it starts to build at about the 7:30 mark that leads to more vocals in a folk setting, then a sudden interruption as everything suddenly breaks loose. This section of the suite has a slight lilt to it that still give a folk feeling, but at a more intense and intense level. Somewhere after 11 minutes, vocals start again, but at a much more intense level than before and some great harmonies. Things end rather quickly after the 12 minute mark.

'Entropy' starts with a strummed acoustic guitar and bass. Vocals start, almost reminding one of the early songs of Dewey Bunnell of 'America', just less poppy and more progressive, but seriously, it sounds a lot like him. Just before 4 minutes, electric guitars take on another great solo. After this, things calm down again for another vocal section, then grow more intense again. I can't believe how fast these songs fly by even when they exceed 7 minutes like this one. This album is just full of stellar performances and amazing tracks.

'The Magic and The Wonder (A Love Theme)' is surprisingly heavy, not what you would expect from this title. Again, we get another complex song with some excellent harmonics and more tricky rhythms. This is a shorter track at just over 4 minutes, but it's still quite excellent and progressive.

'Hell Pt. 7: Victim of Rock' starts off very chaotic with everything coming at you full bore and stays that way for over 7 minutes of run time. Even the vocals, when they start, sound quite unhinged. It remains quite unrelentless throughout with a wall of noise. It suddenly goes into a more processed sound with some very strange effects when the vocals reappear. It is almost if they pulled out all of the stops for the last track.

This is Motorpsycho at their best, with an album full of top quality progressive rock. Every track here is amazing, this album has no filler, just some of the best hard, progressive music. Motorpsycho has explored many genres in their time together as a band, sometimes they get everything right, and sometimes they miss the mark, but on this album, they hit it right square on the nose. If you are wondering where to start with this band, this is the place. I tell you, this one will impress you. 5 stars!

 Begynnelser by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.74 | 12 ratings

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Begynnelser
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Motorpsycho has definitely tried their hands at several different genres throughout their time as a band, and each time, especially with their later discography, you are not sure what to expect. This album, however, is probably the furthest from their original sound that they have ever traveled. The music on this album is all based on music from a play, which Motorpsycho played live on every showing. The play itself is based on the life of the main character, except it is all done backwards, from death to life, pretty much all viewed through memories of the character. The album title, 'Begynneleser' means 'Beginnings' in English. The music on the album is only based on the music from the play since the actual music can vary quite a bit from what you hear on the album, but it is similar. The music is also all instrumental. Most of the tracks are short, but a few of them venture beyond the 6 minute mark.

It starts off with a nice acoustic lead guitar, but soon changes to a raspy, dissonant guitar on top of it and alternates between laid back and contrasts with that strange raspiness. This track is followed up with 'Terje's Sang' a flute or some other kind of reed instrument played over a nice picked/strummed acoustic guitar. There are parts where the reeds are layered for a nice harmonic effect. 'Jaques Tati' has more of a folkish Jewish vibe with both traditional and strange sounds. This has a nice rhythm to it, but the rhythm is not being carried by percussive instruments, but some kind of plucked bass and guitar. 'Trylleball' uses vibraphone and what sounds like another reed instrument, oboe or clarinet maybe with some psychedelic flavor added in the vibes which have taken on a reverb effect.

Ever ones to surprise, Motorpsycho ventures next into a reggae vibe with mellotron and other processed instrument sounds. Sounds get bent giving this a strange atmosphere that grows a little dissonant and unsettling. 'Taterhjulets Gnaur' utilizes the low reeds again against an electronically reproduced and repetitive riff while bent sounds from the mellotron play along. This one is mostly repetitive with improvised instruments on top of it, and even if it's only three and a half minutes, it gets old fast. 'Englevinger' sounds like an old orchestrated soundtrack from an 1950s movie that eventually gets put through an echo chamber changing it to a scary movie. It's short at just over a minute.

The next 2 tracks break the 4 minute mark at last. Up to this point, the album is nice, but somewhat disjointed which could have been helped with better development. 'Sirkelpust' has a simple motif that sounds like passing time with a strange operatic tenor voice above it all, but I believe this is an electronically produced voice from the choppy sound of it. It's kind of strange, not in a good way. After a while, loud synthesizer chords start playing. As it gets more intense, it gets better. This is one of those tracks that's hard to know what to think about it without seeing the visuals that would go along with the enactment of the play. Next is 'Satan'. I don't know if it's the Satan of religious folklore, or an untranslated word meaning something else, but it sounds like it could mean the former Satan, as the music is discordant and spooky with processed organ and other weird sounds. This is good for Halloween music, but is interesting enough to be something other than just a novelty track.

Finally, a track over 7 minutes. 'Over Nyhavna' is an atmospheric track with crashing cymbals and other repeating percussive noises. Soon, a drone fades in and out alternatively. A maladjusted melloton plays just at the edge of hearing from out of the drone and increases in volume. Suddenly, we have trekked into avant-garde style music with this one. As it increases in volume over time, it gets more unsettling. Personally, I like this one and must say that things are more interesting when the tracks have more room to breathe. This sounds like some of 'Ulver's' more avant-garde music.

Next we get some atmospheric mellotron with a nice warbling electronic effect. Again, there is the feeling of suspense, but in a more mysterious and ambient style than the last track. You again get that 'Ulver' soundtrack vibe. This is followed by a longer track 'Gutan I Skogen'. This one starts out ambient with some keyboard chords that sound far off in the distance, and other electronically produced sounds surround that. You get a sort of Avant-folk feel with this as it gives you a Celtic or Icelandic vibe. Other layered instruments and sound come in, and things build in volume slowly. Very nice atmosphere and imagery with this one. This all wraps up with a very quick reprise of 'Terje's Sang'

This is definitely not the 'Motorpsycho' that you would expect in any way, shape or form. The album starts out interestingly enough, but with several short tracks in a row, it tends to sag in the middle. You will notice, however, that things get stranger as the tracks continue. When you finally reach 'Sirkelpust', and the tracks start to go over the 4 minute mark, things really get more interesting, and the tracks venture from straightforward music to more avant-prog territory. Do not expect to hear any Stoner music on this album, and there is not traditional percussion to be found on this album either. It is all instrumental. I would imagine that the music is even more interesting with the play going on in front of you and it probably makes more sense too. But I can say for sure, that the 2nd half of the album shines and is quite impressive as it reaches the more adventurous and experimental tracks of the 2nd half. Regardless of the weakness of the first half after the first few tracks, this is still overall a great album, and I have no problem giving it a 4 star rating. But remember to keep your mind open because this is not what you would expect even after the band did start venturing into more Progressive music.

 Walkin' With J EP by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2000
1.30 | 4 ratings

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Walkin' With J EP
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

1 stars 'Walkin' with J' is the 2nd EP released by Motorpsycho released in conjunction with their album 'Let Them Eat Cake'. It contains the title track, which is also on the album, but the other 4 tracks on this EP are original. The other EP released to support this album was 'Barracuda' and it was comprised of all original music recorded at the same time, however, the tracks were a lot more Hard Rock than the album. So, the question is, how is this EP?

'Walkin With J' is the first track and is exactly the same as on the album. It starts off with a low brass instrument signaling the introduction of the song. Of course, it is the more middle of the road style number, but with a lot of attitude. Right away, you can tell it is nothing like the music that was on the other EP. It isn't as straightforward, for one thing with its interesting brass section and a melody that is a lot more complicated. The theme of the song is a stab at organized religion.

'Junkfood Mailbomb' is even more complicated than the first track. It has a sound like Matthew Sweet, but with a more progressive and psychedelic edge. It unfortunately fades out when it really starts to get interesting.

'Captian Geebheart' has some strange processed vocals and a whacky riff. This one tries to be something straight from left field, but fails miserably and is too short to develop into much of anything.

'KR-3 Parts 1 and 2' is the longest track at 5 minutes. It starts out with a repeating percussion and bass pattern and a drone that buzzes along. On top of this is a light-hearted keyboard and falsetto vocals. This is a little better, and even has brilliant harmonies in the chorus, but the background music is too repetitive. This fades at around 3 minutes, and then fades back in with just the keyboard part and then processed vocals repeating the same melody. The vocals this time are warped and soon the music gets warped too.

'Abendspariergang' is just over 2 minutes and is an instrumental. It sounds like a broken calliope and just ends up sounding obnoxious.

So far, except for the title track, this EP is just made up of what sounds like patched up tracks that are trying to be experimental, but seem to fail at it. In contrast to 'Barracuda' EP, which concentrated on straightforward heavy rock numbers, this one sound like a bunch of under developed attempts. I would stay away from this one, and you can't even pass it off as being art rock. There really isn't anything that great about this one. It's a mess.

 Barracuda by MOTORPSYCHO album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2001
3.11 | 10 ratings

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Barracuda
Motorpsycho Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Barracuda' is what the band refers to as a mini-album, so it's an EP, though it is over 30 minutes long. It was recorded in 1999, but released in 2001. It is comprised of songs recorded at the same time as the album 'Let Them Eat Cake', but were left off of that album. I believe the reason they were left off of the album is because they are more rock oriented, thus they did not quite fit with the songs on the album. Whatever the reason, this is a total rock out album, and it's good.

It starts out with 'Heartbreaker', which is full bore rock and roll, with heavy guitars, and fast tempo, hard driving beat. You get a nice brass section with it, and the amazing gruff vocals. Straight ahead hard rock that will make you want to 'bang yer head'. 'Up 'Gainst the Wall (High Time)' has similar sound to 'The Who', with a killer guitar solo. 'Star Star Star' has a good guitar riff accentuated by 'Chicago'-style horns, but the chorus is very repetitive vocally, as the title insinuates. 'Vanishing Point' has shades of early 'Blue Oyster Cult' with a driving rhythm and a slightly eerie feel. The instrumental break has a features a rocking guitar solo followed by a great electric piano solo. 'Rattlesnake' is rather weak in the verses in the vocals but the bass rocks.

The last two tracks are longer lasting around 7 minutes each. 'Dr. Hoffman's Bicycle' starts with guitar that is reminiscent of 'The Who' again, but is joined by what sounds like bagpipes at times. The instrumental breaks are pretty awesome. 'Glow' has a more blues-y feel to it, but still with a fast paced beat, somewhat similar to 'The Black Crowes'.

No, there isn't a lot of progressive rock here, but there is plenty of hard-driving rock which would make any lover of 70's style rock very happy. It is high quality hard rock, and it is all for guilty pleasure more than anything. It doesn't really require a lot of time to grow accustomed to it, it is a good album for those that think that there hasn't been any great rock music since the 70s. In progressive terms, I regret that I can only give it 3 stars, but in great rock music, it is easily 5 stars.

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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