LAUNDRY — Motivator (review)

LAUNDRY — Motivator album cover Album · 1999 · Funk Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
tapfret
It took 5 years for Laundry to follow up their 1994 debut release, Black Tongue, with their second and final album, Motivator. The band's core of Tim "Herb" Alexander, Ian Varriale, and Tom Butler remained. The major difference was the departure of vocalist Toby Hawkins, whose duties were absorbed by "Herb", ultimately to his discontent. Varriale, while not necessarily changing his duties, slightly modified his string tapping stage presence by exchanging his Chapman Stick for a Warr Guitar.

Motivator is a slightly more refined production than Black Tongue. The overall recording has a similar tone but a cleaner mix. Musically, the album is decidedly more accessible than its predecessor. There is a far more pedestrian, groove oriented rhythmic consistency that was not apparent on Black Tongue. Compositionally, it has less complex passages and obscure instrumental interplay. While the overall dark hews of predominantly minor keys remain, there is less of an affinity for atonal passages, whole tones, or dissonance. The combination remains heavy with overdriven guitar sounds, but not crossing the heavy metal distortion barrier. Tim Alexander's vocals are in a higher register and use a significant amount of reverb compared to Toby Hawkins'. While competent and in tune, it is readily apparent that vocals are not his primary function. There is something intangible that makes the vocals less cohesive with the music. Perhaps it is only a listener preference issue. Despite the differences noted, it is readily apparent that this is the same band 5 years removed.

In general I find Motivator to be a good album, but the less enjoyable of the two. As stated earlier, its just a listener preference issue. And really, I can't identify any unappealing movements within the album, just nothing as outstanding as I found with Black Tongue. The album highlight for me is "So Mean", with its spacey bridge; probably the song with the most dynamic contrast. From a rating standpoint, I would call it a good but not essential 3 stars.

After the supporting tour for Motivator, Laundry would disband. "Herb" would go on to play in many more projects; including The Blue Man Group, A Perfect Circle, and eventually rejoining his old mates with Primus.
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siLLy puPPy wrote:
29 days ago
I'll check them out. I'm often surprised that there are bands from my own backyard that i somehow missed. As hard as i try, i just can't seem to discover everything! At least they're not named Dishsoap :D
tapfret wrote:
30 days ago
Really? I realize they don;t hold a torch to such great metal names as "Poolside at the Flamingo" or "Anal Cunt", but surely, somewhere, there are worse names.
I am honestly surprised they are here. I don't think they intended to be a "metal band". I am astonished you never heard them, being a Bay area resident and all. I think you would really dig the debut, Black Tongue.

siLLy puPPy wrote:
30 days ago
Laundry is one of the stupidest names for a metal band i've ever heard! Never heard of em

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