MOTORPSYCHO albums poll

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it beats me how this hasn't been done yet. really solid argument(s) could be made that this is the best rock band of the past 25 years

Poll Results

TRUST US (1998) 2
BLISSARD (1996) 1
DEMON BOX (1993) 1
IT'S A LOVE CULT (2002) 0
THE TUSSLER (1994) 0

reggie (qualmsley), Thursday, 6 August 2015 02:55 (five years ago) link

i mean if a dude from dungen AND a dude from supersilent are involved with these guys what is there not to like?

reggie (qualmsley), Thursday, 6 August 2015 02:55 (five years ago) link


I hadn't heard anything except the title track from Demon Box but I have clearly underestimated this band.

Tom Violence, Thursday, 6 August 2015 03:09 (five years ago) link

I've only heard Behind the Sun but I'm into it. They're a pretty daunting lot to just get into at this point.

the naive cockney chorus (Simon H.), Thursday, 6 August 2015 03:10 (five years ago) link

Yeah their dumb name turned me off from checking them out but they rule

Ma$e-en-scène (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 6 August 2015 03:11 (five years ago) link

I'm surprised there aren't more Motorpsycho threads in general, this band is incredible, and I say that even though I've only heard like...4 of their albums

frogbs, Thursday, 6 August 2015 03:27 (five years ago) link

The one song (!) I've heard was amazing, but for some reason I expected that to be an outlier in a catalog of Turbonegro/Backyard Babies soundalikes. I can't listen to every album on Spotify but I can certainly listen to the top 5 poll winners and move on from there.

Tom Violence, Thursday, 6 August 2015 03:31 (five years ago) link

some days i think this is my favorite rock band.

Spottie, Thursday, 6 August 2015 03:32 (five years ago) link

Just wanna share this song which is super atypical of them but I love it all the same - reminds me a lot of Ween's country album, in a good way

frogbs, Thursday, 6 August 2015 03:44 (five years ago) link

their diversity is pretty astonishing. like WEEN (RIP!) they can pretty much pull off anything really really well except they're never trying to be funny so much as blow your mind which WEEN only seemed like they were trying to do on occasion

reggie (qualmsley), Thursday, 6 August 2015 09:40 (five years ago) link

Probably my favorite band of the last 15 years. Their run from 1995 to 1999 is godlike. I voted Trust Us, my introduction to the band and my favorite double album of all time.

Marty8501 (Marty Innerlogic), Thursday, 6 August 2015 12:02 (five years ago) link

The bracket on the motorpsycho forum came down to Trust Us vs Timothy's Monster, the former winning by 1 vote if I remember correctly

The Once-ler, Thursday, 6 August 2015 13:20 (five years ago) link

their diversity is pretty astonishing. like WEEN (RIP!) they can pretty much pull off anything really really well except they're never trying to be funny so much as blow your mind which WEEN only seemed like they were trying to do on occasion

good point - though I'd argue that Ween from say, The Mollusk on could get pretty deep and unexpectedly heavy (emotionally). with MP their output seems almost unreal, how can one band release so much quality material so quickly?

frogbs, Thursday, 6 August 2015 13:59 (five years ago) link

I so want to see these guys. I hope Lee Dorrian books 'em for Roadburn 2016!

Fastnbulbous, Thursday, 6 August 2015 14:24 (five years ago) link

It would be great to have Motorpsycho curate Roadburn 2017.

Marty8501 (Marty Innerlogic), Thursday, 6 August 2015 14:27 (five years ago) link

Here's a short overview of the different Motorpsycho-era's and style switches they so seemingly easy went through:

1990-1993 Early years. Loud, noisy, screaming vocals, out-of-tune singing, heavy stonerrock-ish, sometimes folky and acoustic, big riffs, grungy. Culminating in Demon Box, their first classic release. Picture them somewhere between Hawkwind, Sabbath, Dinosaur Jr., Soundgarden.

1994-1999 The psychedelic era. The best album run ever imho starting from Timothy's Monster all the way to Trust Us. This is a highly productive time for the band. TM being their sprawling triple album collecting some of their finest short rockers and very long pieces (The Wheel 17 mins, The Golden Core 13 mins). Blissard is a very focused alternative rock album hinting at a deep love of Sonic Youth, AADAP being their back to basic album, ending with Trust Us, their 3rd double album, which features one of their most well known songs and permanent set closer Vortex Surfer.

2000-2004 The pop era. Dialing back the loud guitars and going for a smooth proggy pop sound inspired by Pink Floyd, The Beatles and Nick Drake. Especially Let Them Eat Cake gave them a near breakthrough here in The Netherlands, with high chart positions, a VPRO-documentary on national television, and sold out shows all the way, including Paradiso Amsterdam. For a Norwegian band they're very popular over here and in Germany. You could say this is their Geir Hongro-phase. After the Jaga Jazzist collaboration (fantastic live) the drummer Hakon Gebhardt left, leaving Bent and Snah behind.

2005 - 2006 Transitional era. Back to rock, resulting in BH/BC, made by Bent and Snah alone (Bassplayer/vocalist Bent plays the drums on this one). Underrated album, very guitar-centric, personal favorite, Their 4th double album.

2007-2012 Enter the new drummer, jazz and metal virtuoso Kenneth Kapstadt. Full on prog is the new direction, starting with LLM (containing four very long songs). COTF is a vinyl only album, recorded with Steve Albini so it's really nice and raw. Currently out of print but a gem altogether. TDDU is a totally over-the-top progrock experience with a jazz orchestra and a huge choir.

2012-2015 What can you do after you've gone totally over-the-top? MP went back to the band format but added Reine Fiske from Dungen as an extra guitar player, resulting in SLWE (a tepid release) and their most recent regular album BTS (a very strong effort, another personal favorite, especially after SLWE which was a disappointment imho). Live shows i saw with this formation were killing.

There's a lot to love with this band.

Marty8501 (Marty Innerlogic), Thursday, 6 August 2015 14:55 (five years ago) link

great post.

Spottie, Thursday, 6 August 2015 15:41 (five years ago) link

MP is an awesome but somehow unheralded band. the greatest trick the popists, punkists, and anti-rockists ever played is convincing the world that great new "prog" doesn't exist. they sorta did the same with jazz

reggie (qualmsley), Thursday, 6 August 2015 16:33 (five years ago) link

Marty, nice! Interesting that you didn't mention Heavy Metal Fruit which seemed to gain them a lot of new fans. What's your opinion on that?

There's a good FLAC rip of Child of the Future floating about, recommended!

Fastnbulbous, Thursday, 6 August 2015 17:14 (five years ago) link

checking out cotf on youtube now.

HMF was my entry point but i like that late 90s run more.

Spottie, Thursday, 6 August 2015 17:20 (five years ago) link

I liked HMF when it came out, but it has kinda lost its momentum with me. I much prefer the last album Behind The Sun.

Marty8501 (Marty Innerlogic), Friday, 7 August 2015 11:20 (five years ago) link

three weeks pass...

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Monday, 31 August 2015 00:01 (five years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Tuesday, 1 September 2015 00:01 (five years ago) link

Wow, 12 voters. And this is why they'll never tour outside of Europe.

Fastnbulbous, Tuesday, 1 September 2015 02:19 (five years ago) link

Kinda surprised it got that many votes tbf

Spottie, Tuesday, 1 September 2015 03:11 (five years ago) link

two months pass...

"she left on the sun ship" is astonishing

reggie (qualmsley), Wednesday, 18 November 2015 17:09 (five years ago) link

two months pass...

"big black dog" on the new one is a grade-a sidelong epic. please tour america

reggie (qualmsley), Saturday, 13 February 2016 20:19 (five years ago) link

New album is awesome on first (well, third) listen.

Marty8501 (Marty Innerlogic), Sunday, 14 February 2016 01:11 (five years ago) link

one year passes...

oh my. new album (the tower) is amazing on first listen

please tour america (if anything remains after hurricane season '17)

reggie (qualmsley), Sunday, 10 September 2017 18:22 (three years ago) link

I've been losing my mind over this album. It's just edged out Elder as my favorite of the year so far. I'm also re-listening to their entire catalog. If I could I'd hop a plane tomorrow and follow them for all ten dates in Norway on their tour, and in between wander the forests with Motorpsycho on my headphones. Or going to the Italy dates in November wouldn't be terrible either. *Obsessed Psychonaut*

Fastnbulbous, Tuesday, 12 September 2017 04:08 (three years ago) link

The intro to "In Our Tree" from Black Hole/Blank Canvas (2006) seems to be a tribute to Shellac's "The Billiard Player Song." When they were in Chicago recording Child Of The Future with Albini at Electrical Audio, just a couple miles down the street from me, they played at Empty Bottle on June 22, 2008 and I MISSED IT, cuz I was out of town for a wedding. They also played Terrastock in Louisville the 21st, and Columbus on the 20th. They also played the US in '91, '92, '99 and '02 (CBGB and The Knitting Factory). It's been nearly a decade mates, come back!

Fastnbulbous, Tuesday, 12 September 2017 04:25 (three years ago) link

New album is another really solid addition to the ever expanding psychoverse. I'm going to see them live in about a month in The Netherlands, will be my 13th time.

Marty8501 (Marty Innerlogic), Tuesday, 12 September 2017 07:51 (three years ago) link

whats the best place to dip in with these guys?

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Tuesday, 12 September 2017 08:08 (three years ago) link

Well, that depends on what you're lokking for.

If you want 90's style indierock you can start with any album released between 1993 and 1999. My personal favorites are Tmiothy's Monster (1995), Blissard (1996)and Trust Us (1998).

If you want psychedlic pop, you'll probably dig the three albums between 2000 and 2003. Let Them Eat Cake (2000) would be a great starting point for this era.

If you want psychedlic prog, then every album from the past 10 years would be okay. Try the new one (The Tower), or maybe the previous album Here be Monsters (2016), which is a great Floydian prog album.

Marty8501 (Marty Innerlogic), Tuesday, 12 September 2017 10:19 (three years ago) link

Dammit, spelling errors. Timothy's Monster is the album I meant.

Marty8501 (Marty Innerlogic), Tuesday, 12 September 2017 10:20 (three years ago) link

well none of these categories seem particularly appealing but I've heard so much good stuff about these guys. Do they have a career-spanning compilation?

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Tuesday, 12 September 2017 13:24 (three years ago) link


it's strange, I'm not really a huge fan of any of MP's peers nor many of the groups they obviously take influence from (The Who, Floyd, Sabbath, etc), but I still love the band

frogbs, Tuesday, 12 September 2017 13:32 (three years ago) link

they're copping serious sabbath licks early here like nobody's business. getting major amon düül ii "restless skylight-transistor-child" on speed vibes from the epics later on

reggie (qualmsley), Tuesday, 12 September 2017 14:41 (three years ago) link

Here be Monsters (2016), which is a great Floydian prog album.

So that eclipsed Behind The Sun which you mentioned as a favorite before? Do you still like Black Hole/Blank Canvas?

Fastnbulbous, Tuesday, 12 September 2017 19:02 (three years ago) link

I like them both. I like them all really. But Here Be Monsters has really grown with me.

Marty8501 (Marty Innerlogic), Tuesday, 12 September 2017 19:26 (three years ago) link

Was aware of the band before but Heavy Metal Fruit is where I got on board and I still love that album. I'm even OK with the first part of X-3. Not been able or felt the need to get into the older stuff although I've checked out a few recommended songs.

Noel Emits, Monday, 25 September 2017 19:10 (three years ago) link

this has been one of my favorites of their lately. loosely based on "Whipping Post" by the Allmans (at least the bass is), though I like this better. amazing how many styles these dudes could flawlessly emulate.

frogbs, Monday, 25 September 2017 19:50 (three years ago) link

I just can’t get onboard with current Motorpsycho music. I started going offboard with half of Heavy Metal Fruit and Little Lucid Moments. I could take time coming up with reasons why current Motorpsycho doesn’t have much appeal to me but it really is different than everything else.

Xp Noels, maybe you won’t get into much of their alternative stuff as I can’t really sink my teeth into the modern prog rock

the ghost of lorax past (FlopsyDuck), Tuesday, 26 September 2017 12:04 (three years ago) link

90s Motorpsycho has grown on me but it's taken me over a decade starting around '06. It just sounded a bit too dated and rooted in overly familiar bands like Mercury Rev and Sonic Youth to me. While I'm appreciating them more as I explore their mult-disc reissues, albums like the above mentioned and Black Hole/Blank Canvas hit me right away with glorious, ambitious sounds that are still some distance from other current more uptight and polished modern prog. So my question, did most of the folks who prefer the 90s albums first hear them in the 90s?

Fastnbulbous, Tuesday, 26 September 2017 13:35 (three years ago) link

Well, I for one did. I still maintain that the nineties are Motorpsycho's golden era. I'm a sucker for their rawer, more song-oriented approach on those albums. And that massively distorted bass guitar sound.

Marty8501 (Marty Innerlogic), Tuesday, 26 September 2017 14:43 (three years ago) link

... golden era
Golden core, right? ;-)

willem, Tuesday, 26 September 2017 14:59 (three years ago) link

You got it ;-)

Marty8501 (Marty Innerlogic), Tuesday, 26 September 2017 15:07 (three years ago) link

Looking at the tracklist of Roadwork Vol 1, I see "Black To Comm." Is that the same song that was the chaotic highlight of MC5's shows?

Fastnbulbous, Wednesday, 27 September 2017 12:58 (three years ago) link

Yes, it's an MC5 cover.

Marty8501 (Marty Innerlogic), Wednesday, 27 September 2017 13:42 (three years ago) link

did most of the folks who prefer the 90s albums first hear them in the 90s?

Yes, me too. Although I'd say there is a fair amount of prog on Trust Us and Angels & Daemons, especially compared to your typical 90s indie rock stuff.
Actually I was a little disappointed when hearing Trust Us for the first time, thinking "oh great, now they just went and made a double album with that retro 70s stuff". A few spins later it suddenly became the best thing ever though. :)

sonderpop, Wednesday, 27 September 2017 14:22 (three years ago) link

I'm not against the 90s / 00s stuff but yeah it's that thing of not feeling the need to revisit that general vibe having largely left it behind back in the early - mid 90s, although I'll still listen to choice cuts from the likes Mercury Rev or Sonic Youth from time to time.

I don't know if Motorpsycho's more recent stuff is more 70s influenced (I guess it is) but that feels both more timeless and fertile, to me.

The track frogbs posted above is very nice and I will keep checking things out. The discography doesn't seem that daunting actually.

If I give Angels & Daemons a go is there good reason to go for one of the expanded versions?

Noel Emits, Wednesday, 27 September 2017 14:48 (three years ago) link

Holy shit, I never really looked into these expanded reissues until now... there's an entire leftover album from the Blissard era? Whoa... whoa... whoa...

Regarding A & D, the reissue seems to focus a lot on "Un Chien d'Espace" (and related things) which is an amazing track and to me the moment when their prog thing really took off, so it might be of interest to you. But maybe someone who actually heard it can give better advice.

sonderpop, Wednesday, 27 September 2017 15:41 (three years ago) link

Yeah When The World Sleeps. From the liner notes:

Of course, for fanatical motorpsychologists, it is nothing short of the holy grail we're now being granted access to--a complete, unreleased album from 1995. And don't be surprised to find it shockingly homogenic, to the point of being monolithic. More than anything, it points towards the present day Motorpsycho--conceptual, heavy as lead, and progressive in the literal sense of the word. Why on earth was this left behind? I dare speculate; it was possibly slightly ahead of its time even for its makers. In 1995...this one would seriously confuse the shit out of everybody, with an absolute nought of commercial potential. But here we are...What in the world happened here? Did they deliberately attempt to play very slow? Not that this one gets so far as Sunn O))) or the early outings of Sigur Ros--this is still comfortably within range--but there's not much upbeat tempo here, and where it appears it still seems connected to the rest.

Fastnbulbous, Thursday, 28 September 2017 13:42 (three years ago) link

A&D also has a 2+ hour live set, excellently recorded too. Given the very reasonable price of the set it's worth getting for that alone. The 30-minute opener with Deathprod (an ambient/noise piece called "Komet") is kind of a waste but the rest is excellent.

Not sure how I feel about the extra album on Blissard yet. Sometimes it sounds really great, but I can see why they didn't release it. Some of the tracks would appear on their EPs though (often massively reworked of course)

frogbs, Thursday, 28 September 2017 14:13 (three years ago) link

three weeks pass...

"a pacific sonata" at the roundabout on terrapin station

reggie (qualmsley), Thursday, 19 October 2017 13:38 (three years ago) link

two years pass...

These guys have one of the most satisfying discographies to alternately zone out or rock out to on shuffle

bold caucasian eroticism (Simon H.), Tuesday, 3 March 2020 13:45 (one year ago) link

five months pass...

...and yet The All Is One is a bit of a letdown for me, some of the wilder stretches excepted. I feel like they've hit a wall with this sound.

unpaid intern at the darvo institute (Simon H.), Monday, 31 August 2020 18:44 (seven months ago) link

had a new song in my release radar on spotify, sounded okay but the lyrics...yeesh...hearing the phrase "fake news" in lyrics, i'm out

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 31 August 2020 20:09 (seven months ago) link

yeah that's the opener, and the lyrics are extremely cringe

unpaid intern at the darvo institute (Simon H.), Thursday, 3 September 2020 15:44 (seven months ago) link

their lyrics are usually pretty bad, its often best just not to pay attention to them at all

frogbs, Thursday, 3 September 2020 16:08 (seven months ago) link

btw I am listening to Death Defying Unicorn tonight and kinda thinkin it might be one of the best prog albums ever made

frogbs, Sunday, 6 September 2020 03:05 (seven months ago) link

it's good as hell, despite sounding completely awful in theory

unpaid intern at the darvo institute (Simon H.), Sunday, 6 September 2020 03:08 (seven months ago) link

didactic lyrics can come across a little too neal morse, sure, but \m/ "night of pan" \m/ is "awaken"-level

reggie (qualmsley), Tuesday, 8 September 2020 16:35 (seven months ago) link

yeah I mean I don't generally come to prog for great lyrics but that just stuck out so bad

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 8 September 2020 16:52 (seven months ago) link

five months pass...
four weeks pass...

I have finally listened to these guys; up this this point the only thing i knew about them was that my friend Andy who lives in the UK was a giant fan, and given his general tastes I assumed they were rather more Monster Magnet than they are. I'm pretty excited to spend time with these albums, I love a catalog where any record might sound completely different from another one. So far love Demon Box, Timothy's Monster, and the Tower.

akm, Tuesday, 6 April 2021 18:58 (one week ago) link

I was pretty sure Motorpsycho was a band a bunch of you made up as a prank on me, but then I saw their listing on Discogs.

Now I know you've got a mole at Discogs helping out with the prank.

Hideous Lump, Wednesday, 7 April 2021 04:48 (one week ago) link

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