This lavishly packaged four-CD boxset certainly inspires reinvestigation. Here a wealth of influences collide: math-rock intensity, progrock structural complexity, an alt-rock radio ear for a melody. And that´s just the opener, "Sinful, Wind-Borne" The dramatic "True Middle" is a stirring spoken word-led piece built on lurching atmospherics. Motorpsycho create sounds beyond the constraints of the rock song format and in the realm of the ambient and the cinematic: "Nathan Daniels Tune From Hawaii" matches Mogwai and Sigur Rós for wintery, widescreen postrock minimalism. If Motorpsycho were an American band they would probably be exponentially more (financially) successful. Bit this takes nothing away from their music. This "Blissard" is part of an on-going series of reissues so if you have not heard them - an enjoy all your senses being stimulated - now is a good time to discover them.
Released in 1996, "Blissard" saw forward-thinking Norwegians Motorpsycho abandoning some of the more aurally-abrasive waters of their earlier albums and instead adopting a sound that frequently nodded toward more accessible territories. Very much an album of two halves, the band´s fifth opus initially lures the more casual listener in with songs such as "Sinful, Wind-Borne" and the "Nerve Tattoo": numbers that offer an upbeat and relatively catchy indie-rock experience, albeit one with diversions that clearly betray the band´s more ambitious leanings. It´s with the spoken word of sixth song "True Middle, however, that the more progressive material is ushered in; the numbers quickly adopt a far greater sense of ebb and flow, contrasting riffs and crashing percussion with drawn-out acoustic textures. Reissued as a beautifully presented box set, complete with unusually detailed technical information, we certainly have the definitive edition of the album.
Record Collector (UK)
Motorpsycho have never done things by halves, and their ongoing reissue treatment of their back catalogue sticks with this principle of pumping everything up to the maximum output. One of Motorpsycho´s oddest records, "Blissard"´s first half is packed with zippy full-tilt rock-out tunes, the likes of "Drug Thing" and "Greener" being variations on grungy power-pop. But with the midway mark of "The Nerve Tattoo" comes a descent into ruminative dissonance, which dominates the second part of "Blissard", before the final faded mutter of "Fool´s Gold" and somnabulistic hum of "Nathan Daniel´s Tune From Hawaii".
The great Motorpsycho reissue programme trundles on with a quadruple CD set edition of the band's 1996 studio album Blissard. Considered to be the Trondheim juggernaut's most 'experimental' album, the contents of the box set reflects Blissard’s troubled gestation with disc one being the original studio album, disc two the rejected When The World Sleeps (recorded as the band's next studio album and produced by Motorpsycho's regular engineer, co-producer and occasional extra member Helge 'Deathprod' Sten). disc three The Pidah Mixes (an 11 track album of rejected mixes from Stockholm's Atlantis studios) and disc four The Ones That Got Away (a 20 track collection of B-sides, rehearsal tapes and more. In all this adds up to a bonanza of 22 previously unreleased tracks and helpfully the box set also includes a 32 page booklet detailing just about every aspect of the recordings.
The next instalment in an ongoing series of re-issues, this 4CD boxset follows similar luxury treatment meted out to previous release Timothy’s Monster (the bands high water mark up to that point). Previously known as a ‘jam’ band working up ideas in the studio Blissard saw the Trondheim based psych-rockers begin sessions with songs already in the bag leading to perhaps their most cohesive album and their first Norwegian Grammy. Now expanded to 48 tracks (22 of which are previously unreleased) the box includes a poster and a 32-page booklet with extensive liner notes and detailed recording information about all the tracks.
Total Music Magazine (UK)