Motorpsycho
Still Life With Eggplant


4.0
excellent

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
April 13th, 2013 | 26 replies | 5,812 views


Release Date: 04/12/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: ...

Roughly one year after the ambitious, orchestra-assisted collaboration with Ståle Storløkken entitled The Death Defying Unicorn, Norway's most renowned psychedelic/hard rock act, Motorpsycho, delivers their 18th studio effort, Still Life With Eggplant. The music is almost as random as the title sounds, as the band is known for constantly shifting styles from one album to another. However, Still Life With Eggplant is one of their most accessible works, consisting of ideas Motorpsycho wrote in the past 3 years, but couldn't find their place on their last year endeavor. As a result, there are various jazz traces, but most of material here has its' roots in the hard rock sphere. The songs all aim for slightly different directions, none of them classifying as filler, while the melodic, sing-along vocals are usually catchy and memorable. This time, Reine Friske was added as the second guitar player to the line-up to add some boost.

Out of the five tunes, the album's massive progressive piece "Ratcatcher" is clearly the centerpiece; it starts slowly to a fuzzy sing-along, followed by a long, jazzy interlude with more intricate bass and drum lines akin to King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man", while the guitars solo for several minutes. Another sung verse is added mid-point, before ending with another long but gentle, jazz-lounge influenced segment. For Motorpsycho fans, this type of lengthy, complex tracks isn't anything out of the ordinary, as their discography is scattered with them. Still, the execution is flawless, showcasing the results of 24 years of pushing musical boundaries. Also, the two stand-outs bookending Still Life With Eggplant, "Hell, Part 1-3" and "The Afterglow", are contrasting on both titles and sound: "Hell, Part 1-3" borrows from early Sabbath doom riffs, yet the vocal melody is joyful enough to make the listener smile and happily nod his head to the music. Then, out of the blue, this minimalist coda shows up, finishing the track on an unexpected low-key style. "The Afterglow" is a straightforward, mid-tempo country folk tune that feels like an evening walk in the park. The soothing vocals and the acoustic guitar offer some needed peaceful moments without any other gimmicks. Midway, the other instruments kick in, much like a power ballad builds up, and the guitar slide along with the mellotron, add some more beauty to the track, making it a suitable, epic closer.

Still Life With Eggplant winds up as one of Motorpsycho's most straightforward and enjoyable releases. Of course, it might not be a classic any time soon, but their fans and hard rock fans in general will like the record. It's an enjoyable 45 minute ride that doesn't consume the listener, it only wants him to sit back, bang his head to it and have a good time.



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user ratings (20)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 13th 2013



3374 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Check it out. Constructive criticism appreciated (I kind of rushed this review).

Unfortunately, I couldn't find Ratcatcher... Here are the other tracks:

Hell, Part 1-3 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NqmxF_GuGE
The Afterglow - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYWndIr6vIE
Barleycorn - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=173-uhUDcTQ
August - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJe1SM5IJO8


Digging: Amplifier - Mystoria

Cygnatti
April 13th 2013



21350 Comments


Was just looking at this band, sweet band. Not sure why there's pop punk in their genre tag though...

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 13th 2013



3374 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, they're cool and somewhat unpredictable. I don't think there's pop punk on their releases, it would sound crazy lol.

Ecnalzen
April 13th 2013



6501 Comments


Nice review, and it didn't feel rushed when I read through it. I have been enjoying reading your write-ups as of late. I definitely see why you got your contributor status.

This band sounds a little on the fascinating side. Will have to check them out.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
April 13th 2013



7365 Comments


I've never heard these guys before, but Hell sounds good.

Digging: 68 - In Humor and Sadness

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 13th 2013



3374 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, I really appreciate that :D. I always stay a few days on a review because I write a sketch and always come back to it. I wrote this one in an hour or two.

I haven't checked all their records, but these guys have covered a lot of genres so far, so it only takes time to find at least one or two to enjoy. Still Life With Eggplant is more straightforward and less esoteric.

@ Greg - They have a hell of a discography from what I've checked so far. Maybe Heavy Metal Fruit or Demon Box is more of your thing, but Still Life is great too. I have yet to check some of them.

scissorlocked
April 13th 2013



3509 Comments


really good band

only listened to phanerothyme and some random stuff which was pretty good

will probably give this a listen

review is nice too, good work insomniac

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 14th 2013



3374 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks scissorlocked. This is slightly harder than Phanerothyme, but it has the same cool vibe. You should also check out Black Hole/Black Canvas and Little Lucid Moments.

Ecnalzen
April 14th 2013



6501 Comments


I really enjoy the musical direction of this, but the almost constant feeling of "gang vocals" they have going on here kind of annoys me.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
April 14th 2013



7365 Comments


Yeah. I don't dig the vocals on this at all. The music is cool though.

Ecnalzen
April 14th 2013



6501 Comments


If this was an instrumental band, I'd be all fucking over it, but every time those vocals come back in, it ruins it a little bit for me.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 14th 2013



3374 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like the vocals on Hell and Ratcatcher, but then again I'm a fan of melodic vocals (gang vocals are cool too). They have some issues with live vocals. Sometimes everything goes well and sometimes it's baaaaad.

Underflow
June 29th 2013



2554 Comments


Heavy Metal Fruit was impressive. I'll have to check this out.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
July 14th 2013



7365 Comments


Ah. This is actually really cool. I'm listening to it right now. Still not a huge fan of the vocals. Everything else is rad though.

humandoorstop
September 23rd 2013



10 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

help me out here. i'm enjoying this thing immensely, i'd even like to write a review but i don't think i could do the album justice. anyway, i'm looking for more stuff like this and i haven't really found anything as remarkable as this in the band's discography. any suggestions as to what i should give a listen? i usually listen to much heavier stuff, but i love motorpsycho's fluffy and jazzy approach on this album.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 23rd 2013



3374 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Glad you like them. They are really diverse and expansive, it's hard to recommend something similar to them as they have branched a lot in the past 20 years and created a style of their own. However, with the jazzy approach, you should listen to Hedvig Mollestad Trio (also from Norway), Jaga Jazzist or 70s stuff like King Crimson, Yes, Genesis or Camel and Frank Zappa (a lot of their stuff is rooted in these musicians' catalog).
Within the realm, check out some Dinosaur Jr., even The Mars Volta (wild approach) or more stoner/psychedelic stuff like Golden Void, Monkey3, Causa Sui, Methadone Skies, Vibravoid, Aqua Nebula Oscillator or The Egocentrics. Still, these bands are similar to some of their stuff. I hope it helps.

Regarding the review, don't worry just write it, make a sketch first and expand it. Use an introduction, body and conclusion and try to be as objective as you can.

humandoorstop
September 23rd 2013



10 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

thanks for the recommendations, i look forword to checking them out. I do enjoy zappa's hot rats and some mars volta but most of the other bands i've never heard of (except for genesis and yes, which i probably won't check out again, but thanks anyway). good review btw., i was just surprised that you didn't mention barleycorn, since in my opinion (/ears) that song outshines all the others, which is quite an accomplishment. but that's just me of course.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 23rd 2013



3374 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's a great song, but I don't know, at the time I found the rest more interesting. However, it grew on me and now I dig it as much as the others.
I'm not the biggest jazz fan so I don't think my recommendations are the most accurate, but hopefully you'll hear something closer to Motorpsycho. I think it's more about the patience needed to find the right bands, because there are so many. The 70s prog rock might be closer since it's a direct influence on Motorpsycho.

humandoorstop
September 23rd 2013



10 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

that's interesting, just the opposite was the case with me, i started out loving barleycorn, now i love all of it. yeah, im not a very patient guy. impatience was actually the reason i joined this site, because i got sick of browsing spotify and youtube for new music (once you've been using youtube for a while their algorhythms start churning out the same stuff over and over again... and anthony fantano can only get you so far). this site is promising though. but so much for that, thanks again!

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 23rd 2013



3374 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If you follow reviews and people's lists, you'll find a lot of new music in quite a short amount of time. I could make a 100-band list with what I found through Sputnik, ranging from obscure to renowned stuff that you'll wonder how it'd got past you. The fastest way should be to make a list to ask for recommendations based on a few albums and people will give you stuff.



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