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coverpic flag Norway - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 5 - 03/24/97

Angels And Daemons At Play

Oh, yes; Motorpsycho are back with another massive attack of music. Only one year after the most excellent album Blissard, they present another journey through the challenging and exciting landscapes we've learned to know as the world of Motorpsycho. This time around their opus is entitled Angels And Daemons At Play, and first of all, let's go through the different formats: There is of course a CD version, on which there are 11 songs. And then we have the vinyl version; a 2xLP-set with 3 more songs than the CD. Finally there's a box-set, containing 3 CD EP's - each one with its individual title! - with a totale of 13 songs (plus one hidden bonus-track). This review is based on the latter. For some old vinyl devotee this presentation is the perfect way to approach a compact disc: when playing the whole album, you'll get to have some natural pauses inbetween to switch the discs.

Baby Scooter (disc #1, 5 songs, 23 mins), opens quietly and acoustic, before jumping into a bouncy rocker. But it isn't untill song three, Heartattack Mac, the steamrolling machinery of Motorpsycho as most people know it plugs in and gets on. Nevertheless, the winner of the disc has to be the fifth and last song; In The Family, with its spiffing intro: it starts with a piano, then the drums join in, and all in a sudden the guitar-riffs get going. Quite simple, in the usual way done in rock-music, but yet so rough and effective. Motorpsycho is still a trio (with some additional guests and helpers, such as former member Deathprod; noisemaker, sound-scientist, co-producer), and they're a clever bunch of musicians: Bent on vocals,bass, guitars, etc, Snah on guitars, vocals, piano, etc, and Gebhardt on drums and percussion (and some banjo, as well). Bent is still the main-man of the group, but this time Snah does the lead vocals on some more songs than we're used to from earlier on. And a lot of the songs are credited the whole threesome, and not so often Bent only. Their unity are still improving. And they still have got many faces, and go through lots of phases. On Have Spacesuit Will Travel (disc #2, 3 pieces, 30 mins), they appear as the far-out, space-rock-monster they love to be. Drooling around in their playground with all the special-FX-sounds of the late 60's/early 70's. Quite chaotic, way up high. Moody and atmospheric, and also amusing. Very spacy. Loads of sound, themes, instruments, riffs, playing tricks on each other. There's even a guy on saw - the ultimate instrument to really give space the right kind of spice.

Lovelight (disc #3, 5 songs, 20 mins), is definitely the best part of Angels And Daemons At Play. It's at least my personal favourite. It starts with a staccato spiral, before presenting maybe the most catchy song of the album - Like Always; a kool guitar-riff whips the song forward, and finishes in some three minutes. Sort of perfect pop, eh? Another highlight is the song Stalemate, a tender song, calm and quiet, with sparse instrumentation. As a fitting close to the record there is the song Timothy's Monster (which actually was the title of their 3rd album), with its majesty and anger. Loud. Mean. Suggestionizing. Monstrous. And then it ends.

It's a solid piece of work. It isn't brilliant - well, some parts are - just very good indeed. It's a complex and demanding album, and I guess it'll keep on growing on you. Let it do so.

Copyright © 1997 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Motorpsycho articles/reviews: Spin, Spin, Spin b/w Go Around Once, Starmelt EP, The Tussler, Trust Us.

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