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on 9 April 2011
Motorpsycho's third live album (albeit No. 4 in the `Road Work' series, which also includes the live video on the `Haircuts' DVD) is not a record for the faint hearted. Those expecting an easy listen, neat bite-size songs, which can be dipped in and out of, won't find that here. `Intrepid Skronk' is a sonic adventure, best enjoyed in total submission to the soundscape presented on this 70 minutes plus, 6 song album from Norway's finest. Motorpsycho are renowned for not playing the same set twice from one gig to the next, and they have 20 years worth of material to choose from, so when a live album was originally mooted there was much discussion amongst fans regarding what would be on it. As those familiar with of the band already know, they like to stretch out a bit live, and accordingly there are no carbon copies of the original studio versions to be found on this record. In terms of running time and structure, the most faithful of the songs to the original is the album closer `The Alchemyst', from Little Lucid Moments. But even this is a stripped down, more brutal version. Bereft of the trippy, West Coast sounding vocal harmonies of the original it thunders along for its 12 or so minutes. Album opener `The Bomb-Proof Roll and Beyond' is a 20 minutes plus expanded version of the track which appears on the band's latest studio album, Heavy Metal Fruit, full of light and shade, fine vocal interplay and big riffs. These guys really were on a roll when they captured this one on tape. Next up is a psyched-out version of Louis Hardin's `All Is Loneliness', before a dip into the band's back catalogue for a cracking, and better than the original, version of `Wishing Well' from 1997's Starmelt e.p. and an equally good version of `Landslide' from the 2001 album `Phanerothyme'. Stripped of the orchestration, and 1960s retro slant of the original, this version of `Landslide' is a funky, bare-knuckle workout, still recognisable, but much changed to fit with the band's more jammy, progressive ethos of recent years. A rollocking `Kill Devil Hills' from the Black Hole/Blank Canvas album completes the track listing. As wonderful as the musical cornucopia on this album is, the underpinning feature of the record is the performances. There is some lip-smackingly good playing on display. Snah Ryan's guitar is big, textured, at times virtuoso, and always on the money. Recent recruit Kenneth Kapstad on drums is a tremendous player. But driving it all is the bass of Bent Saether, who is superb on this record, and has to be one of the best bass players in the world today (and that's not a casual claim). As a live unit, Motorpsycho are tight, energetic, versatile and almost telepathic when they let loose and "kick out the marmalades!" And, despite the more subtle moments, for the most part they rock hard and loud. `Intrepid Skronk' is a fine document of a band arguably at the height of their powers live.
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on 9 April 2011
Motorpsycho's third live album (albeit No. 4 in the `Road Work' series, which also includes the live video on the `Haircuts' DVD) is not a record for the faint hearted. Those expecting an easy listen, neat bite-size songs, which can be dipped in and out of, won't find that here. `Intrepid Skronk' is a sonic adventure, best enjoyed in total submission to the soundscape presented on this 70 minutes plus, 6 song album from Norway's finest. Motorpsycho are renowned for not playing the same set twice from one gig to the next, and they have 20 years worth of material to choose from, so when a live album was originally mooted there was much discussion amongst fans regarding what would be on it. As those familiar with of the band already know, they like to stretch out a bit live, and accordingly there are no carbon copies of the original studio versions to be found on this record. In terms of running time and structure, the most faithful of the songs to the original is the album closer `The Alchemyst', from Little Lucid Moments. But even this is a stripped down, more brutal version. Bereft of the trippy, West Coast sounding vocal harmonies of the original it thunders along for its 12 or so minutes. Album opener `The Bomb-Proof Roll and Beyond' is a 20 minutes plus expanded version of the track which appears on the band's latest studio album, Heavy Metal Fruit, full of light and shade, fine vocal interplay and big riffs. These guys really were on a roll when they captured this one on tape. Next up is a psyched-out version of Moondog's `All Is Loneliness', before a dip into the band's back catalogue for a cracking, and better than the original, version of `Wishing Well' from 1997's Starmelt e.p. and an equally good version of `Landslide' from the 2001 album `Phanerothyme'. Stripped of the orchestration, and 1960s retro slant of the original, this version of `Landslide' is a funky, bare-knuckle workout, still recognisable, but much changed to fit with the band's more jammy, progressive ethos of recent years. A rollocking `Kill Devil Hills' from the Black Hole/Blank Canvas album completes the track listing. As wonderful as the musical cornucopia on this album is, the underpinning feature of the record is the performances. There is some lip-smackingly good playing on display. Snah Ryan's guitar is big, textured, at times virtuoso, and always on the money. Recent recruit Kenneth Kapstad on drums is a tremendous player. But driving it all is the bass of Bent Saether, who is superb on this record, and has to be one of the best bass players in the world today (and that's not a casual claim). As a live unit, Motorpsycho are tight, energetic, versatile and almost telepathic when they let loose and "kick out the marmalades!" And, despite the more subtle moments, for the most part they rock hard and loud. `Intrepid Skronk' is a fine document of a band arguably at the height of their powers live.
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on 9 August 2015
A prog masterpiece!
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