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Motorpsycho – ‘Ancient Astronauts’

Stickman Records
King Crimson, Can, Wishbone Ash, Opeth, Wobbler, Causa Sui, Hedvig Mollestad Trio
Release Date
Stickman Records
Progressive/Psychedelic Rock

Norway’s premier suppliers of chameleonesque Rock and Roll appear to have walked across a collage of the finest 70’s prog album covers and matched their colours to everything from “Argus”, “Red”, “2112”, and maybe even “Trespass”, and a sonic palette formed in reverential honour of such classics appears to have leached into the psyche of the latest album “Ancient Astronauts”. From the Opeth-tinged Space Rock of opener “The Ladder”, to the epic and sublimely beautiful closing track (you need to take a breath just to say it) “Chariot of the Sun – To Phaeton on the Occasion of Sunrise (Theme to an Imaginary Movie)”, this is Motorpsycho of the recent era at an unapologetic and uncompromising creative zenith.

Recently celebrating entering their third decade as a band, you might well allow for them to be taking the foot off the pedal of the creativity machine and resting on their laurels. Errm… no. Even as accustomed as we are with albums of epic proportions that span many styles and genres from Motorpsycho, “Ancient Astronauts” confounds and exceeds expectations even further. To say this album packs a lot in to its scant 43min runtime is a colossal understatement. You could easily write a long-form review of the last track “Chariot…” on its own.

Subjectively, this is not an “easy” album. 2020’s “The All is One” showcases modern Motorpsycho at possibly their most accessible and tuneful best, last year’s “Kingdom of Oblivion” was a masterpiece of bringing hard-hitting groovy psychedelia bang up to date for a new generation.

“Ancient Astronauts” owes its existence in part to collaborations with artists in the world of film and dance, and as a result is more driven by rhythm and schematic “feel” than merely being a collection of great songs. That it is still such an engaging and rewarding listen only serves to highlight how much you need way more Motorpsycho in your life.

"Even some hardcore fans may take some time to get “into” this decidedly different record. It is however well worth the effort"

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