Norway - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 4 - 02/22/97
Stickman (Maximilianstr.30, 90429 Nurnberg, Ger.)
The Tussler was originally released in 1994, but first now
this dusty jewel is finally available on vinyl, as a double 10".
Appearantly The Tussler is the soundtrack from the forthcoming film of the
same title, by director Theo Buhara. Neither Buhara nor the
movie exists, but the cover art, featuring drawings of cattle and cowboys,
is not musically deceptive. This is basically Motorpsycho playing around with
various cliches from American country music and southern rock. Quite a step from
their usual progressive-psychedelic-grunge.
As opposed to their "regular" albums, this one sounds like it
could have been recorded in couple of days (maybe it was). It has a very
dry and simple sound. Like an "unplugged" Motorpsycho, but also a totally
different Motorpsycho. Although they include some songs from their
earlier records, these versions blend into the overall playful
feeling of the album. This "let's make a country album" idea could easily
have ended in embarrassment, but The Tussler's mix of originals
and covers succeeds in becoming something more than the result of
getting drunk and playing country covers out of tune.
They do on some occations make fun of
musical cliches, but I think they are showing their acknowledgement of the
music rather than being just parodic.
Some of the faster songs have that polka rhythm, featuring banjo
and mandolin. On an otherwise varied record, these polka songs are
fun, but perhaps too alike. On other songs, a traditionally played
steel guitar contributes to a more authentic country feeling, while
a distorted bass adds a Motorpsycho edge. In addition to the nine originals,
they do a driving cover of Six Days On The Road and a decent
cover of Neil Young's Albuquerque. But one of the highlights
is Polka With The Devil, which also is the song closest
to being a parody. It seems to me that this song captures the essence
of the Allman Brothers' twin lead-guitars, only speeded up three times.
Not an essential item from Motorpsycho's portfolio, but never the less
an entertaining sidetrack. It is pressed in a very limited edition
on vinyl, with additional gems compared to the original CD release,
so act fast!
Copyright © 1997 Knut Tore Breivik