MOTORPSYCHO — Still Life With Eggplant

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MOTORPSYCHO - Still Life With Eggplant cover
3.71 | 4 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2013

Filed under Non-Metal
By MOTORPSYCHO

Tracklist


1. Hell, Part 1-3 (9:47)
2. August (4:52)
3. Barleycorn (Let It Come/Let It Be) (7:18)
4. Ratcatcher (17:10)
5. The Afterglow (5:57)

Total Time: 45:07

Line-up/Musicians


- Bent Sæther / bass, guitar, vocals
- Hans Magnus "Snah" Ryan / guitar, vocals
- Kenneth Kapstad / drums

Guests/Sesssion:
- Reine Fiske / guitar on tracks 2-5
- Thomas Henriksen / keyboards on track 3

About this release

Stickman Records/Rune Grammofon, April 12, 2013

Thanks to UMUR for the addition

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MOTORPSYCHO STILL LIFE WITH EGGPLANT reviews

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Motorpsycho are an amazing band that have the power to mesmirise and inspire with their brand of heavy prog. The album that blew virtually everyone away is "The Death Defying Unicorn", a masterpiece that became a cult in the prog community, and one of the albums of the year for 2012. I remember how the music lifted me into another plane of existence as it simply nailed me to the couch with its inexorable power. The music blew the doors off any boundaries that may have been set in place for music convention and it was wrapped in a concept package. This time around with "Still Life With Eggplant" the band discard the concept and go for a bunch of diverse tracks that are boundary pushing but nowhere near as innovative as the previous album. They set the bar so high that it was almost impossible to reach those heights again I would suggest. In any case the album is still packed with some powerful tracks and wonderful musicianship.

It opens in a blaze of glory with 'Hell Parts 1-3' that has that deep resonating stoner guitar riff and psychedelic style of vocals. The riff jams along locking into place as the band launch into a jam and then it ends with a totally different melody outside of the previous form. It feels like a coda tacked on but it works well enough.

There are some grandiose spacey lead guitar breaks such as the lengthy break on 'Barleycorn (Let It Come/Let It Be)'. The intro has the same feel and melody as the Traffic song 'John Barleycorn Must Die' and this is intentional as it pays homage to the Traffic style. It sounds like a 70s song lifted from a Cream album or Traffic in all respects.

There is a mammoth epic on the album that clocks into 17 minutes, 'Ratcatcher' and this may wear its welcome out after so many minutes of free form jamming. The intro itself is ultra spacey and I love the way the bass builds into the soundscape. The glissando tremolo guitar reverberations are akin to the type of guitar on a Hawkwind album, and the style is totally removed from other material on the album. It suddenly launches into a freakout of pulsing bass, pounding drums and duel guitar licks. The vocals finally enter multilayered and psychedelic, "Save me, is this heaven or hell, ratcatcher!" I was reminded of another modern psych prog band The Ovals, or Diagonal, such as their 'Semi Permeable Men- Brain'. The recent Nik Turner album "Space Gypsy" captured this vintage sound too and it is a great retro throwback to the psychedelic 60s. Hawkwind's 70s music such as 'Orgone Accumulator' also rests on one riff and launches into a freakout lead break in the same style as this Motorpsycho track. The main component of the lengthy 'Ratcatcher' is an extended psych jam that is primarily spacey guitar played improv style over a grinding rhythm and bass section. The drums crash and cymbals splash as the tempo quickens and the lead guitar picking is more intense. There is a lot of sustain and high powered string bends with pedal effects and it begins to hypnotise after a few minutes. It felt as though it were a live concert played to a bunch of stoned followers, in the style of early Pink Floyd concert performances. The vocals return with a grand finale and then it leads into a quieter free form jazz coda till it is all over; one to really ponder over and a very bold track for the band.

The album certainly is a surprise as it is perhaps a simpler approach to the music then the previous release that was totally conceptual focussing on a ship lost at sea and how the crew fight for survival against incredible odds. There are only 5 tracks and none really jump out and measure up to the mind blowing stuff on TDDU. The band even opt for an acoustic ballad with 'The Afterglow' and go for a Cream guitar sound on the cover by Love 'August' that is more like the 1969 song from "Four Sail" than I would have expected for a song recorded in 2013. Motorpsycho are great at capturing the vintage sounds of days gone by when rock gods were born such as Hendrix, Clapton and Garcia. I liked the album a lot but to be honest was expecting something awesome, and it does not deliver in the same way as their previous album; playing it safer and thus draining dry most of the creativity that made them such a powerful prog force on "The Death Defying Unicorn".
UMUR
"Still Life With Eggplant" is the 15th full-length studio album by Norwegian psychadelic rock/hard rock act Motorpsycho. The album was released through Stickman Records/Rune Grammofon in April 2013.

After releasing what is arguably their most progressive effort to date in "The Death Defying Unicorn (2012)", we´re back in more familiar psychadelic rock/hard rock territories with "Still Life With Eggplant". The music is playful, jamming and laid back. Fuzzy guitars/bass, organic drumming and dreamy mellow vocals (at times the vocals remind me of mid-70s Wishbone Ash). The tracks alternative between structured sections with vocals and more loose jamming sections. Typically with guitar solos and organic rythmic playing not completely unlike artists like Jimi Hendrix and Cream. The jamming drags on slightly too long in the 17:10 minutes long "Ratcatcher" but otherwise I think the material on the 5 track, 45:07 minutes long album, are pretty well balanced. The sound production is detailed, warm and organic, which suits the music perfectly.

The band are exceptionally well playing. A confident, tight and organic sounding unit. Paired with the warm and organic sounding production this is pure bliss to my ears.

"Still Life With Eggplant" is not nearly as adventurous as it´s predecessor, but if you ask me, Motorpsycho are best when they rock out and in that respect "Still Life With Eggplant" is a more interesting album than "The Death Defying Unicorn (2012)" (which is more interesting than "Still Life With Eggplant" in some other areas). Their diversity is one of their strengths though and I wouldn´t have it any other way and enjoy most of their output however "different" some of it are. "Still Life With Eggplant" might be one of their more "safe" efforts but but it´s still a very strong release and a 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is deserved.

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