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- Blissard - Deluxe Edition by Motorpsycho
9/10 ReviewBot300 Staff review, 07 December 2012
Before I start out here, I think it’s fair to say that I’m biased when it comes to Motorpsycho, and in particular their output between the years of 1994-’98, when their unique mix of indie rock and hard psych was elevated to godlike levels of hard rocking, playful genius. They can be a tough band to get into, due to a penchant for genre-hopping and a ridiculously huge back catalogue, but for my money they’re one of the most passionate, forward-thinking, contrary and human bands active today.
The albums from that period are now being systematically reissued by the fine people at Rune Grammofon in some of the most comprehensive 4CD packages you could imagine. Last year’s ‘Timothy’s Monster’ reissue set the bar high, and that bar has perhaps been raised yet further with this mammoth journey through their ‘Blissard’-era recordings. The album itself, which takes up the first disc, is a monolithic slab of driving melodic indie rock, lively experimentalism and pummelling psych jams, and includes some of their most memorable tracks, notably ‘Sinful, Wind-Borne’, ‘The Nerve Tattoo’ and live favourite ‘S.T.G.’.
That’s all well and good, but what’s even more exciting about this box is the snapshot it gives of the rest of the era’s recordings. Masterpieces like ‘Blissard’ don’t happen overnight, and as it happens there were two abortive attempts at making the record before the final product was ready for the public. Those have gone largely unheard until now, but in this box set, which features 22 previously unreleased tracks, we can finally hear them in their entirety, with notable treats including an early attempt at recording ‘Stalemate’ (which ended up on the next album ‘Angels and Daemons at Play’), and the original version of ‘Like Always’ which was later changed almost beyond recognition and the removed parts plundered for other tracks, giving some amazing insight into their songwriting process.
The final disc contains 20 B-sides, demos and jams. As with the previous box this starts strongly and towards the end features some more “fan-only” material of varying quality. Some of this won’t be for everyone, but there’s so much goodness on the first three and a half discs that it never threatens to knock a star off this reissue’s full house and only serves to make it more comprehensive. As if that wasn’t enough there’s a fold-out poster listing personnel, tunings, and notes of interest on the individual tracks, and a text-filled book detailing memories and stories from the period, along with technical information so exhaustive that it could only be of serious interest to a handful of people. Basically, this box contains everything you could ever want to know about this album, and I can’t wait to see what treats are in store for the next two expanded editions, since those are my favourite MP LPs of all.
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