Motorpsycho, “Heavy Metal Fruit”

November 23, 2010
By Jan-Arne Sohns

Ah, Motorpsycho.  I haven’t been following the string of releases they’ve put out on the esteemed Rune Grammofon label.  “Heavy Metal Fruit” is the third album the Norwegian three-piece release there, in just under two years: six tracks in a little bit more than an hour.  While there’s a piano number that is no longer than three and a half minutes, three other tracks are indeed around the ten-minute mark, and the prog rock album closer, “Gullible’s Travails” [sic], consists of four movements and clocks in at a majestic 20:42.

Over the twenty years of their career, Motorpsycho have always felt like the most out-there rock band ever to come close to (something like) commercial success.  “Heavy Metal Fruit” sees them in typically idiosyncratic mode, going for the ROCK approach, heavily psyched, dynamics stretched to the max, guitars dripping from the speakers like syrup in songs with titles like “Starhammer,” “Knuckleheads in Space,” or “The Bombproof Roll and Beyond.”  Motorpsycho have been compared to Finland’s Circle, another band indulging in wistful rockisms and still producing incredible albums by the dozen.  “Heavy Metal Fruit,” though, is less orthodox when it comes to metal and particularly strong on psychedelic freakouts, heavy riffing and shared, grunge-ish vocals.  Soundgarden (“Badmotorfinger” era) jamming with La Otracina should sound like this.  Singer Hanne Hukkelberg and trumpeter Mathias Eick con-tribute to this massive offering, where jazzy excursions are – thankfully – absorbed by stoned classic rock riffing.  I do realize, though, that I’d prefer some of the tracks to be more to the point.  Which clearly is not what Motorpsycho are driving at.  Anyway, “Heavy Metal Fruit” shows the band in their classic phase, sounding more intense than most others on their debut.

Rune Grammofon

7/10

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