Motorpsycho ‎– Soothe

Label:
Voices Of Wonder ‎– VOW 027
Format:
Vinyl, 12", 33 ⅓ RPM, 45 RPM, Mini-Album
Country:
Released:
Genre:
Style:

Tracklist Hide Credits

A1 Lighthouse Girl
Written-By – Sæther*, Ryan*
9:20
B1 Sister Confusion
Written-By – Sæther*
5:52
B2 The Wait
Written-By – Sæther*, Ryan*
6:41
B3 Step Inside
Written-By – Sæther*
7:07
B4 ... We All Float Down Here...
Written-By – Sæther*, Ryan*, Gebhardt*
1:08
B5 California Dreamin'
Written-By – Phiillips*, Gilliam*
4:45

Companies, etc.

Credits

Notes

Recorded at Brygga Studios, January 2-5, 1992.
Mixed at Brygga Studios, January 20, 22, 23 & 24, 1992.
Mastered at Nidaros Studios, January 21, 1992.

70 copies were released in a steel box Motorpsycho - Soothe with an insert numbered and signed by all members of the band.
About 100 boxes were manufactured, but not all were used.

Side A plays at 45 RPM, while side B plays at 33 ⅓ RPM.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Side A): VOW 027 A Audiodisc 920302 PD-CR STEEL YOUR FACE
  • Matrix / Runout (Side B): VOW 027 B Audiodisc 920502 PD-CR
  • Rights Society: BIEM / n©b

Other Versions (2 of 2) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
VOW 027 Motorpsycho Soothe(12", MiniAlbum, Ltd, Ste) Voices Of Wonder VOW 027 Norway 1992 Sell This Version
VOW027 Motorpsycho Soothe(12", EP, TP) Voices Of Wonder Records VOW027 Norway 1992 Sell This Version

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danridge

danridge

April 11, 2015
edited over 2 years ago

It makes the most sense to me to review this album track by track first (which, by the way, isn't always the best sign):

“Lighthouse Girl” is really riding the line between good and bad lyrics in its verses. It’s basically every other line. Bent’s voice sounds amazing as he croaks them out, though, each and every one, and just one great line is enough to excuse any number of dull ones. The metal between verses is serviceable. "Why’s it there?" Because that’s where they put it. Then there’s a longer bit that’s really repetitive. "How is it?" Long and repetitive. The part that ends the song is great, though: it gets repetitive right with stark, higher lines over a crunchy performance from the rhythm section. And plenty of noise. It hits that sweet spot of brutality. So there are a couple great things about this track that make it all worthwhile, but it almost feels like you could drop the needle on them and enjoy them just as much as you do when they come up in the course of the track. “What if it were a nine minute track that all worked together and felt like it meant something, and could really support those great moments?” No use speculating.

“Sister Confusion” is the most creative the band get on this album in terms of harmony and arrangement, but all the pieces come together into a song that has a steady, even flow. The composition is a great demonstration of song-writing craft. The band have the chops to play it. It’s an interesting song to hear. Why can’t I get this to sound exciting. Because Motorpsycho couldn’t. There’s a lot of emotion in Bent’s vocal delivery that the band just don’t support, it all just sounds a bit too controlled. There’s not really enough nuance in the performance. I think it’s a great song that didn’t get the performance that warrants.

"The Wait” is heavy all over, especially at the bottom, with its driving bass riff, and it’s certainly relentless, but it’s not quite brutal, as it takes a lot of creativity and not just power to be a really effective torturer. It approaches it at times: when Bent’s raw, unprocessed vocals come to the front in quieter sections, when the harmonies kick in towards the end, when the acoustic guitar comes in for a few measures in the bridge. The band at least have the edge to pull off this music, and it certainly doesn’t sound too slick or over-produced for hard rock. There are worthwhile moments in here that you might wish you hadn’t had to wait so long to get to. Maybe that’s what the title is about? If so, 5 out of 5 meta stars.

“Step Inside” comes in out of its quieter intro sounding like just another riff-based track that’s going to wear thin quickly, but here Motorpsycho manage something they would come to perfect as part of their trademark sound in later releases, the careful blending of psych and heavier elements to create hypnotic grooves that are incapable of outstaying their welcome. They get the main line of groove throughout just right enough that it forms a dream substrate of pillowy, angular metal jam, and then sprinkle in a bunch of really satisfying moments. Basically, every transition in the song feels great, and they change things up often enough that the song is constantly delivering the dopamine. It’s interesting to note that almost a year later, a truly frightening, stripped-down version of this track would serve as the absolutely perfect lead in to the (incomparably brutal) title track of their incredible album Demon Box (I’d make a close superlative tag joke here, but I can’t use html). But while that version may have worked perfectly in the flow of its own album, I can’t honestly say I prefer it to this track. NB: any time I compare something favourably to anything off of Demon Box, you know it’s great.

“…We All Float Down Here…” is a great minute of scary noise. Motorpsycho are smart to know that to really get scary, you get a little quieter. The moment the warped, slightly deflated guitar comes in it’s unsettling, and then the backwards vocal takes it to that unnerving place. A short, well executed track.

“California Dreaming” is decent. They play it with gusto and hit a pretty good groove, there are some nice solos, and Bent yells through the lyrics with satisfying abandon. But while the solos sit kind of nicely in the background, they’re hiding behind the main guitar part more than anything else; the groove feels like it would be so much more effective with a little more low end. Basically the mix defeats this one, and I don’t think it’s just the sound quality degradation you always get at the end of an album. Regardless, it doesn’t maintain the energy that the last two tracks built, it lets the album wind down slowly instead of going out with a bang.

So how does it all hang together? More or less. The band would have great heterogenous albums later that still worked to listen through. This one goes to a lot of places - although the sound doesn’t change too terribly much along the way - but it’s the quality and feel that vary too much to really pull all of the tracks into a single experience. The highs on the album are quite high, but there are definitely some doldrums to get through as well, and if you know what you like on here there isn’t an album experience that would compel you to listen through everything else to get to it.

Let's talk about the sleeve quickly: it's simple and serviceable. Ok, done. I don't have the metal case, which would surely be more interesting. I also don't have the insert signed by the whole band. I'm not crying, I just have a lack of Motorpsycho's signatures in my eye…

Watch for: is it just me, or does Bent say “The preacher like my coat” in the second verse of "California Dreaming”? Also, the false endings of “Step Inside” are pretty funny; this is an old trick in classical music, coming back in after the end quieter each time, but metal bands can’t really get quieter without accidentally becoming electric folk rock bands, so they have to get creative…