Motorpsycho
Here Be Monsters


4.0
excellent

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
February 13th, 2016 | 63 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Motorpsycho explorer unit reaches the late '60s...

After almost three decades of multiple style changes and constant experimentation that brought to life roughly two dozen albums, each different from the other, Motorpsycho received the right recognition in their home country, Norway. They have become a museum exhibit, under the title Supersonic Scientists. In order to capitalize this milestone, the band have also released an eponymous anthology which features favorite cuts from their vast discography along with a book that will soon be available in English too. In between these events, a couple of awesome concerts have been held, both with Ståle Storløkken. One involved a choir, a huge pipe organ and took place in a church (no spoilers – check out En Konsert For Folk Flest) and the other at the Teknisk Museum for the centennial jubilee. The latter became the foundation of their latest LP, Here Be Monsters. Since Storløkken was unavailable to expand his initial contributions, due to other commitments, the guys were left to their own devices to finish the album.

As a result of its live jamming provenance, Here Be Monsters is a significantly lighter affair, shedding some of the intricate or hard hitting elements that characterized their last few albums. One of the main influence is the late '60s psychedelia most evident on their H.P. Lovecraft cover, ‘Spin, Spin, Spin’, a beautiful tune that harkens back to the hippie movement and the Summer of Love. They have always had a knack for sun soaked pop tunes and this cover really suits their style. Although Motorpsycho consciously crafted a softer album, it doesn’t reach as far as Phanerothyme into psych pop territory, at times boasting a rather dark edge that unfolds on the final movement, the epic closer, ‘Big Black Dog’. Starting with mournful guitar picking and melodic dual vocals, it slowly descends into a paranoid journey where synthesizers take the lead. The chaotic intensity created backs the main lyrical theme, the long Arctic nights. Halfway, there are few moments of peacefulness, however, it dwells even deeper when the organ takes over. It shapes the sound, building again until it lets the guitars finish the track with hypnotic patterns.

Traces of Behind the Sun are all over, mainly from its tender side, expanded on ‘Lacuna/Sunrise’, a gorgeous, laid back jam that shares a warm, deep bass line around which Pink Floyd-like guitars and keyboards bloom. Bent’s croon, often doubled by Snah, creates that lovely, friendly atmosphere, one of Motorpsycho’s trademarks. Meanwhile, the wandering instrumental, ‘Running With Scissors’ maintains that mid-Summer feel with acoustic strums, playful rhythms and chill solos, whereas ‘I.M.S.’ reprises some of those intense psychedelic moments. Borrowing some looping riffs from the acid rock sphere and abusing the high pitched bent notes, this warping tune completes the trip into the late '60s and back.

Motorpsycho have leveled up since the release of Heavy Metal Fruit, an album that in my opinion revitalized their career, showcasing again a fresh approach to the compositions. They entered a prolific period during which some of their best works surfaced. Now, with Here Be Monsters the band has steered onto a slightly different path, reaching further back into the psychedelic age. The album ends up somewhere between their early '00s output and Behind the Sun, a landmark in their career for me (along with Phanerothyme). This lovely journey offers both lush and haunting moments without sacrificing any of the experimental edges or familiar sounds. It might not be as encompassing as the two LP above, yet they have done a damn great job. The trio’s golden moments are far from being over and I am curious to see where this direction leads to.




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user ratings (103)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
February 13th 2016


4753 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great stuff, but it doesn't surpass Behind The Sun or Phanerothyme. Nice to see they are once again moving forward, exploring new sounds and styles.

Digging: Fennesz - Agora

SharkTooth
February 13th 2016


13968 Comments


so if this doesn't surpass Behind the Sun, is it at least on par?

also is this streaming anywhere?

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2016


4753 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's close, but quite different from Behind The Sun. I think it expands on the subdued moments on BTS and continues as a psychedelic trip.



No stream unfortunately. I only found Lacuna/Sunrise and Spin Spin Spin on the web.

Mad.
February 14th 2016


4747 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Great review Raul, excited to listen to this.



Defi agree with what you said about Heavy Metal Fruit, it's a near-perfect album

danielcardoso
February 14th 2016


11770 Comments


Have to check, great review mate !

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2016


4753 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks! This is an excellent album, really worth the time.

I hope I can catch them live sometime soon

Hurricanslash
February 14th 2016


1830 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I need this album so much right now. Gotta listen as soon as I can. Also excited to see what they are going to do with this live.



Great review as always!

Underflow
February 14th 2016


4867 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's on Spotify last I checked.

SharkTooth
February 14th 2016


13968 Comments


thank god

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2016


4753 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'd get the vinyl from Stickman, it's 15 euros and comes with a CD too.

Might have to wait till next month, I'm broke at the moment.

Mythodea
February 14th 2016


4271 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I listnened to it in full today. Really good album, I was so excited. They remind me of Beardfish, do you think so, too?/

Digging: The Alvaret Ensemble - Skeylja

someguest
February 14th 2016


29903 Comments


The album cover is neat.

LotusFlower
February 14th 2016


12001 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oh cool, another motorpsycho record!

Mythodea
February 14th 2016


4271 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Am I the only one who thinks they shamelessly steal The Blue Ghost/Shedding Qliphoth from maudlin of the well's bath? The intro is similar to Lacuna/Sunrise. And of course I don't mind at all.

CusmanX1
February 15th 2016


375 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Lacuna/Sunrise and Running With Scissors are amazing, I like that Floydian sound

Hurricanslash
February 17th 2016


1830 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I ordered the album blind, I hope this is as good as it looks like. Then again, it's Motorpsycho.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
February 17th 2016


4753 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's worth the money. If you don't like it, you can always give the album to me!

Mythodea
February 17th 2016


4271 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Spin, spin, spin is one of the catchiest songs I've heard yet.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
February 17th 2016


4753 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Listen to Go To California from Phanerothyme, that's such an awesome jam

Mythodea
February 18th 2016


4271 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I intend to listen to their whole discography. But first I need to digest this album. It's still very exciting to listen to.



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