"Little Lucid Moments" is a splendid return to form, which brings sometime collaborator Helge Sten (Supersilent, Deathprod) back into the fold as co-producer. The title track, a lush 21 minute suite (their word) in four parts, betrays a special love for Magma. Fingerpicked pop themes sparkle in a sea of tempo changes and guitar washes, embroidering grinding power bass with delicate chord tracery. The marriage of Prog and krautrock could so easily have given off a stench of stale sweat and beer, but "Little Lucid Moments" is fresh, airy and full of spring optimism - composed, rehearsed, controlled and finessed.
The Wire (UK)
These absurdly prolific sons of Trondheim, Norway, have been delivering the finest Frisco-style freak-outs this side of the Rockies. Lately reduced from quartet to trio, their loose but tight West Coast psychedelicamania remains undiminished. "Little Lucid Moments" finds them in classic Grateful Dead mode ("Anthem of the Sun" meets "Live Dead") with dollops of Blue Cheer´s raggedy proto-metal thrown in for good measure. If the term "free-wheeling 21 minute guitar-infested hyper-jam" doesn´t fill you with despair, this is an utterly essential buy. Many have tried to master this form, but Motorpsycho are, for me, the only ones who have ever really cracked it.
Doubtless Motorpsycho´s urge to follow their free-spirits - improv rock freakouts with CSN harmonies a speciality - inhibits accruing mass audience their tuneful space explorations would surely satisfy. But it´s typical of the 15 years extant Norwegian trio that, following a mysterious early noughties dalliance with pop schemes, the ostensibly daunting prospect of an hour-long prog odyssey comprising just four tracks is revealed as their most accessible work. Especially spectacular during the 21 minute title-track´s four-part suite, "Little Lucid Moments" occupies the riff-heavy jam territory of both Starless-era King Crimson and Sonic Youth´s Daydream Nation, alternating melodious riffage, rabid percussion from new-boy Kenneth Kapstad and the gauche existential pondering that´s key to their appeal. Though prodigious on The Alchemyst´s zonked-out vistas, Motorpsycho´s quest never permits virtuosity for its own sake. Cosmic satisfaction, however, they can guarantee.
Having first set out their stall with MC5-styled punk, Motorpsycho have since sprawled out into progressive hardcore and cosmic/stoner rock, flirting with grunge-pop, Krautrock, psychedelia and improv jazz along the way. The trio´s prowess has always impressed, but their latest is a startingly accomplished set up. That it features a "suite" in four parts with track titles such as "The Alchemyst" rather gives the prog-odyssey game away, but there are no lapses of either taste or focus. Setting sweet, CSNY-like vocal harmonies inside precision-tooled rock is Motorpsycho´s killer blow.
Too often European bands grab the style and ignore the substance but Norway´s Motorpsycho sound like they´ve spent a long time absorbing the substance and roaming through all kinds of styles. The result is their own amalgam of metal, indie, psychedelia and prog, all elegantly demonstrated on the 20 minute opening title track that sweeps through several moods. Singer Hans Magnus Ryan sinewy guitar romps through the changes with an exquisite sense of tone and melody, coming to heel every time the rhythm section signals another switch in direction with a crisp riff and slipping the leash once the new tempo is set. None of the four tracks is less than 10 minutes but it feels succinct, particularly in prog terms. 8/10.
Classic Rock (UK)
It´s clear that we´re within spitting distance of prog rock, but such is the sheer visceral thrill of this album, it´s unlikely to be performed on ice or dressed at King Arthur any time soon. Reminiscent of the gonzo, flash-metal of Blue Oyster Cult, the title track steams along ferociously before slipping into a beautifully unexpected piano coda. Even better is the 14-minute "She Left On The Sun Ship", which explodes into space like primetime Hawkwind with a hypnotic guitar duel. Stunning, eclectic and downright heavy, Motorpsycho´s thrilling brand of acid-fried rock is the perfect prescription for all those still chasing the dream.
The Word (UK)
Whether they’re named after Russ Meyer’s 1965 b-movie boob-fest or Dylan’s Motorpsycho Nightmare is debatable but what’s absolutely clear is that, since ’91, these absurdly prolific sons of Trondheim, Norway, have been delivering the finest Frisco-style freak-outs this side of the Rockies. I didn’t discover them until ’97’s mind-warping double LP Angels And Daemons At Play, but they’ve never disappointed since. Lately reduced from quartet to trio (Bent, Snah and, er, Kenneth), their loose but tight West Coast psychedelicamania remains undiminished. Little Lucid Moments finds them in classic Grateful Dead mode (Anthem Of The Sun meets Live Dead) with dollops of Blue Cheer’s raggedy proto-metal thrown in for good measure. If the term “free-wheeling 21 minute guitar-infested hyper-jam” doesn’t fill you with despair, this is an utterly essential buy. Many have tried to master this form, but Motorpsycho are, for me, the only ones who have ever really cracked it
"Little Lucid Moments" is shamelessly retro, an interpretive Xerox that basically sounds like the past, only better. The momentum is seemingly unstoppable, the frequency of dynamic shifts verges on the prog, and the meagre lyrical content is a transparent excuse for hypercharged guitar/bass/drums shoot-outs of a lenght and vigorous complexity that would do "Siberian Khatru"-era Yes proud. Turn the volume up on "She left on the sun ship" or the Sonic Youth-appropriating "The Alchemyst", and just see if your fist doesn´t start pumping. If my kind of rock record - vile things that they are - existed, this would be it.
Plan B (UK)
Their latest offering sees the band produce a long-player consisting of four sprawling rock symphonies. It may take a while to truly buy into but this is a well put together piece of work.
Mixes full-on indie rock with ethereal moments and experimental pieces that wouldn´t appear strange in a Frank Zappa album.
Hi-Fi World (UK)
Motorpsycho - like their Norge Neo-Prog buddies Jaga Jazzist – have been beavering away in the margins for years now, honing their Psych/Jazz/Metal chops until they’re sharp enough to shave a weasel. Not only are they adept at synapse-pleasing signature changes, they also know how (and when) to rock out. You’ve got to admire their nerve, opening an album with a 21 minute, four-part song-suite, but all this fresh air and light allows the music to grow organically at its own pace; themes are explored, discarded and then revisited in subtly different forms: it’s like reading a lush, really well-written novella. But with guitar-solos. The shortest track is 11 minutes long, but don’t let that put you off: the music is seeded with strong melodic hooks that may even snag them an American college audience. There are echoes here of Nektar, a young Ozzy Osbourne and even Godspeed You! Black Emperor. I love the slow-burning intro to 'Year Zero (A Damage Report)' where waves of guitar-noise surge and crash against the boundaries of the song before falling away into a sort of wounded tenderness. An engaging and curiously addictive listen.
Joining the band with youth and energy to spare is drummer Kenneth Kapstad, who puts a brand new motor in Motorpsycho. His strong percussive heart is all over this album´s four long excursions, from the 11-minute "Year Zero" to the 21-minute, four-part suite of the title track. You can still play "spot the ´70s influence", from Kansas to Pink Floyd to a little Ozzy Osbourne (and even vintage CSN in the vocal harmonies), but with renewed spirit, Motorpsycho are back to their old selves again.
Global Rhythm (US)
"Little Lucid Moments" viser igjen et søkende band, og skiva inneholder 4 lange låter. Som på "comeback"-plata "Black Hole/Blank Canvas", så har bandet på en måte gått litt tilbake, og er mye mer rocka enn poptriologien på tidlig 2000-tallet. Nå er de dog i større progrock-modus enn noen gang, og det 20-minutter lange tittelkuttet og åpningssporet er noe av det beste bandet har gjort på lenge! Ellers er bandets sedvanlige meloditeft inntakt, og det er noen fantastiske riff og melodier de kjører på med. Som låt er "Little Lucid Moments" noe av det største og mest dynamiske Motorpsycho har gjort, og det varmer et progrock-hjerte. Alt i alt er "Little Lucid Moments" nok et meget bra Motorpsycho-album, hvor de både staker ut nye retninger og kjære elementer fra deres nå så svært varierte og produktive historie. Her er det bare å gå til anskaffelse!
Norway Rock Magazine (NO)
http://www.adressa.no (concert review)