Fricke's Picks: Motorpsycho

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"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.