Motorpsycho – 20 years in hiding!

Psyched about 'Psycho

Long hair and beards rock!

We all like the bands that we like for the reasons we like them, and unless the bands that we like are liked by everybody else too, we often wonder why they are not? Still with me? I mean if WE think they are the best thing since sliced bread, then why doesn’t everybody else? Ok, well obviously in most cases that mindset is a bit silly. We all like different stuff, and not every band can be the next Zeppelin or Floyd or even the RHCP and appeal to the masses. And also, compared to 40 years ago when the likes of Zeppelin were strutting their stuff, the amount of choice we have as consumers has probably increased one hundred fold, maybe more? Sure, easier accessibility benefits the artist too, but it’s a double edged sword because competition to get seen and heard is fierce, probably more fierce than it ever was, and as such the ability to become the next huge thing becomes diluted. There are kids with guitars sitting in their bedrooms uploading their ‘art’ to social media sites in their thousands, 99% of which is a right load of crap, and that crap needs to be waded through to find the good stuff. Add to that the huge bias that the record companies seem to have in favour of signing artists from the States and to a large extent, the UK, all of which makes it difficult for talent from anywhere else to really make a big impression on the world scene. This in my opinion is a big shame.

I think it’s high time we all started to look in different directions for our music. To places like mainland Europe and Australia. Places maybe overlooked before. Places where rich seams of talent are coming to the fore, slowly penetrating our blissful ignorance and our attitude that anything that isn’t from the UK or USA could be worthy of our attention. Artists like Tame Impala and Gotye just to mention a couple, are making us realise that if we just broaden our horizons, there is bounty to be found on unfamiliar shores.

Motorpsycho are a band from Norway, and not a new band at that. They’ve been around for more than twenty years peddling their wholly unique brand of progressive/psychedelic/crazy-arse rock. I only recently discovered them myself on iTunes when searching for something else, I forget what exactly. And despite the euphoria of instantly knowing I’d discovered something a bit special, I was a little frustrated that I hadn’t come across them before. I am an avid music fan, I write a blog that nobody sees simply because I love music. It’s my passion. I am constantly looking for new stuff to enjoy, to share, and believe me, I look everywhere! So when I heard how good this band is, I was somewhat dumbfounded as to how they had escaped me for the last twenty years because if there was ever a band that deserved global recognition, or atleast recognition in their field, Motorpsycho is it.

They are essentially a two piece, with Bent Saether and Hans Magnus ‘Snah’ Ryan forming the core from the outset, and other players coming through the band over the course of the last twenty years. The latest of which being Kenneth Kapstad who was invited in 2007 to join the band as an official member on drums. Their output is prolific, with at least 15 studio albums, 5 live albums, not to mention EPs, singles, special editions and collaborations with other artists. I have so far to go in catching up with all their material! Their style is really quite difficult to pin down, I mean, i just don’t know how to describe them? I am a huge Zappa fan, and at their free flowing best I would compare them to his mid-seventies Roxy era sound. But that would be way too narrow a description because at times they sound just as much like Kyuss or Queens Of The Stone Age or even Porcupine Tree as they do the Mothers Of Invention or Esbjorn Svensson Trio (RIP). Essentially they sound like Motorpsycho, which is a compliment in itself because they are truly unique. If these guys had been around 40 years earlier they would be huge news, selling out arenas worldwide and packing out stadiums. Instead, very few people outside of Scandinavia and northern Europe and maybe Italy have heard of them, and to me that is a travesty.

Believe me when I say this is high quality music, and I know I say that a fair bit but I don’t write about anything that I think is shit. However, this is music of the very highest calibre. Their creativity knows no bounds, encompassing all kinds of styles into their sound and making it their own. From sprawling stoner rock to sublime jazz fusion, from 4 minute freak outs to 20 minute epics, they are a joy to behold. They are the kinda band that if you don’t really know what to listen to at any given time, put on the fantastic ‘Heavy Metal Fruit‘ and prepare to smile as you cast aside reality and drift away on a sumptuous journey of rich, delicious noise. And if you happen to be high at the same time then strap yourself in cos you’re not gonna be coming back down to earth for a very long time! And when you do come down, bang on the live album ‘Roadwork, Volume 4 – Intrepid Skronk‘ to fire yourself back out into orbit!

It’s not often that you discover a band that instantly slots right in at the top of your all time favourite list, but in almost a single listen Motorpsycho achieved that feat for me. And their back catalogue is HUGE! Oh what joy! I can’t wait! Now the only question remains, why doesn’t everybody know about this band? It makes no sense. They really should be huge, at least within the Prog Rock scene. Should I be sad about that, or should I just be pleased that I have discovered this special little secret from Norway that nobody else seems to knows about? Take a listen and decide for yourself!

‘Starhammer’ from the album ‘Heavy Metal Fruit

And if you liked that you’ll love this!

And now that you are completely hooked, check out ‘Ratcatcher‘ from the new album, ‘Still Life With Eggplant

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