MOTORPSYCHO — Trust Us (review)

MOTORPSYCHO — Trust Us album cover Album · 1998 · Non-Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
aglasshouse
Motorpsycho is a Norwegian rock band that surfaced around the late eighties. The band named themselves after the 1965 Russ Meyer exploitation film of the same name. The movie follows a veterinarian named Alex Rocco whose wife is raped by a motorcycle gang, and his subsequent revenge plot. This namesake doesn't have the most interesting history, as the biggest reason Motorpsycho picked it was due to all of Meyers' other acclaimed movies having bands forming under their monikers, and "Motorpsycho" was the only one left not taken. However this origin does give a bit of basis into the band's early history. The band started as a stoner/alternative metal band, releasing their debut Lobotomizer in 1991. To call the album special was perhaps an overstatement; it was grungy and rough but also had glimpses of deeper complexity. Aside from the quality, what Lobotomizer marked most importantly was a signal for more to come. As the band progressed through the 90's they almost entirely lost their metal edge, opting for a more and more progressive, hard-rock, Led Zeppelin-esque output. This, in a way, is what made Motorpsycho's albums so unique in their own rights; every single one was like a different era in themselves, unheeded by any superficial tie-downs to any one genre. This is what truly made Motorpsycho an eclectic band.

Now we could take a look at really any one of the band's albums and have an enjoyable experience, but I decided to pick my personal favorite of the bunch. This album was none other than Trust Us, released in March of 1998.

Trust Us is perhaps the most complex of Motorpsycho's 90's material, which is saying something for a band such as this. Usually when it comes to albums released in '98 or '99, I make a point of how the band's sound was changing to fit a new decade, or that they began to synthesize new techniques of that time period. Motorpsycho is unique as Trust Us was not an absolute guarantee in a change of style. It sort of continues where Angels and Daemons At Play left off, albeit with less "indie" attached to it's name. Trust Us takes in a lot of influences, like Pink Floyd and the aforementioned Led Zeppelin. Hans Ryan and Bent Saether's overly-crunching riffs coincide staggeringly with the quieter background music and the overly-intricate drumming of Haakon Gebhardt, but with a few spins it becomes much more cognitively natural as your brain adapts to it. That brings up a bit of a nitpick some might have about Trust Us- pertaining to it's inaccessibility. Many of the tracks are 7+ minutes long and I can see how that could turn casual listeners or those with "musical A.D.D." off. I for one suffer from the latter, yet I'm easily enthralled by the sheer nail-biting talent showcased in some of these songs. '577' is undoubtedly my favorite, starting with the soft croon of Ryan and Saether's harmonizing vocals and leading directly into 4 minutes of unique and complex guitar solos, until finally re-arriving at the vocals. For me it's a true flagship of the bands talent with instrumentation (which undeniably is where they shine the most). However on the less heavy side, 'Ozone' is a bluesy kicker with a dash of White Stripes and a disarmingly fun beat. On the prog side 'The Ocean In Her Eye' fits the bill, an almost post-rock infusion undercutting an over nine minute long exercise of the band's creative muscle. Other tracks hold their own water very well but this praise isn't meant to be dealt by me, at least I don't believe so. Trust Us is a whopping 81 minutes and is nothing short of an experience that should be held at a personal angle rather than given away. I mean that in the most positive way that I can.

Motorpsycho is a unique band and revolutionary in their field. Although I wouldn't necessarily recommend that a first-timer start at Trust Us, I would conversely recommend that anyone looking for a powerful experience whilst stuck in a musical drought, then this album is definitely for you. Good luck.
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