Fricke's Picks: Motorpsycho


"Suite: Little Lucid Moments," the opening track on Little Lucid Moments (Rune Grammofon), by the Norwegian power trio Motorpsycho, is not little. It is a mini-album in itself, an improbable union over four parts and 21 minutes of Tool, Goo-era Sonic Youth and the '69 Yes: angular riffing, volcanic guitar-bass-drums debate and surprising pop-sheen vocal harmonies. The second section is well named — "A Hoof to the Head" — and the gripping tumult in the third stretch, "Hallucifuge (Hyperrealistically Speaking)," explains why Motorpsycho are established prog-metal stars abroad. Bassist-singer Bent Saether and guitarist-singer Hans Magnus Ryan started the band in 1989, taking the name from Russ Meyer's 1965 biker-gang B movie and throwing caution to the arctic winds over a long discography of hard-rock indulgence, including the two-CD epics Trust Us (1998) and Black Hole/Blank Canvas (2006). Little Lucid Moments — a single disc, and Saether and Ryan's first album with new drummer Kenneth Kapstad — is pith in comparison, but just barely. The finale, "The Alchemyst," is a 12-minute whirl of power-pop clang and polyrhythmic jamming with a soft space choir landing at the end. You wouldn't want it any shorter.

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David Fricke

Rolling Stone senior writer David Fricke has more than 10,000 albums in his New York apartment. His first record review for the magazine was Frank Zappa's 'Sheik Yerbouti' (RS 290).

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