It’s testament to their standing in their homeland that, last month, Motorpsycho were given their own retrospective exhibition at the Norwegian Museum of Rock. That’s in Trondheim, the town where Bent Saether and Hans Magnus Ryan formed this band 25 years ago.
Given their hunger for fashioning great sounds from alt-rock, metal, psych, classic rock and prog, it’s almost hard to believe they’ve been at it for so long. Assembling an anthology representative of their quarter-century career is something of a fool’s errand – you’re never going to please everyone – but, boy, is this is a brilliant stab at it. Just one listen will rekindle any love you may have once had for this discretely pioneering lot. Cleverly, Supersonic Scientists isn’t a simple, chronological account. What you get is a well-sequenced set of 17 remastered tracks, judiciously selected from across the studio catalogue of Motorpsycho’s 12 incarnations. (Bundled in with the CD is a pleasing ‘rock family tree’ guide to the whole dozen.) How can you go wrong opening up with The Demon Box’s awesome Nothing To Say, Vortex Surfer and into the monolithic slab of space rock that is Starhammer (here in its edited version, a mere 11 minutes). Shame on those cool teen mags, indie sheets and hipster titles for not hoisting this band adoringly on their shoulders – haven’t they heard punky screed The Nerve Tattoo? The spiky Strokes-redux earworm In Our Tree? In a world where Radiohead et al helped tune modern audiences in to substantial, left-leaning music, why have college campuses never truly resounded to The Other Fool or Afterglow? The craft behind harmony-drenched, 60s West Coast encomium Go To California, the sustained logic of 13-minute shoegaze piece The Golden Core – these things leave you marvelling at the sheer consistency and quality of Motorpsycho’s quarter-century in music. Hurl this album at every kid you care about. Do it now.