Motorpsycho: Demon Box

Norwegian post-grungers’ classic double restored.

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‘Deluxe’ versions of great albums often end up diluting the charms of the original artefact with their added ‘extras’. But Trondheim mavericks Motorpsycho have good reason to reissue their seminal 1993 release: although originally put out as a double vinyl album, three tracks were cut from the CD version.

It sounds all the more like a brutal edit when you listen to the three omitted tracks in their natural habitat. Gutwrench is a superbly nasty addition, all churning bass rumble and discordant vocals. Mr Who is a clattering, lo-fi excursion to planet oddball, but it adds still more beguiling strangeness to an album already heavily laced with it.

Best of all, though, is the 11-minute Mountain, whose brooding bassline and slow, prowling tempo underpin a lurching monster of a riff. Imagine The Melvins if they’d grown up in the Arctic circle, seeing no sunlight for two months of the year.

A third disc includes their EPs from that era, peppered with highlights such as the pitch-black Flesh Harrower, along with a similarly unpredictable but frequently exhilarating disc of rarities.

With a 1993 live show on the DVD, it’s a fascinating document of the pivotal period in the career of one of European rock’s true originals./o:p

Johnny Sharp

Johnny is a regular contributor to Prog and Classic Rock magazines, both online and in print. Johnny is a highly experienced and versatile music writer whose tastes range from prog and hard rock to R’n’B, funk, folk and blues. He has written about music professionally for 30 years, surviving the Britpop wars at the NME in the 90s (under the hard-to-shake teenage nickname Johnny Cigarettes) before branching out to newspapers such as The Guardian and The Independent and magazines such as Uncut, Record Collector and, of course, Prog and Classic Rock