Friday, April 10, 2009


Motorik - Klang!

Ready for something a little more explosive? Per their suggestive name, Motorik launch out of the starting gate with all 400 hp of post-punk, Gang of Four-inspired engines revving. A female-fronted Seattle three-piece with Sio on bass and vocals, Adrian Garver on guitar and Hoagie Gero on drums, Motorik are like a massive blast of the some of the best art-punk, angular post-punk funk of the eighties infused with a new found fountain youth in the form of Sio's driving, repetitive and absolutely addictive bass playing. And did I say angular? Let me tell you, this disc has so many angles it could be a geometry teacher's wet dream. Edgy, punchy, anxious, and tighter than a banker's wallet, Klang! showcases a burst of infectious post-punk and is well worth the effort of tracking down.And when I say energetic, I mean this album absolutely pulses with a heartbeat all it's own. "Or So I Thought," bubbles out on the back of a darkened funk bass line that plays like a fine burst of cotton candy, it's so sweet. Then, just like that sugary confection, the sugar high hits you in the form of Adrian's fits and spasms of guitar and Hoagies never-wavering beat. Sio has a voice so much entirely her own, it's not even worth searching for a comparison, but overall, this song reminds of one of my lost favorite old post-punkers, Get Smart. But here's the trick. The songwriting is so strong, and the band's sense of melody and dynamics so dead-on, that songs come off as angular without ever being disjointed. This is art punk that has lost none of its accessibility. "Box of Knives," takes this vibe one step further, brimming with Gang of Four angst and urgency. Sio's voice once again inhabits a realm of her own naming, a voice that certainly wouldn't work well with a more traditional sound, but is just dynamite here, that extra layer of high fructose corn syrup to layer on top of our energy buzz. Again, Adrian drops in epileptic seizures of guitar a la Andy Gill and the whole song sears down the lost Au Pairs highway. Beautiful stuff."Robert Palmer," brings on a more menacing bass line, shrieks of dissonant guitar, and Sio's quirky coodles, gulps, coo's and chirps as vocals. Shades of the Mekons with massive looping bass lines. Damn, she can play. And again, Hoagie does his damnedest to anchor this whole conglomeration of disparate parts into one cohesive song with his Teutonic drumming, and what a song it is. "It's Just Sugar," finally catches up with my sugar analogy chiming with that infinite buzz. "Utopia Parkway," hints at the excellent Crocodiles-era Echo and the Bunnymen. Wire? Pere Ubu? Pylon? The Pixies? Name your favorite, intense post-punk artists, who's music cringes with palpable tension and a venous system full of anxiety, and you'll be able to place Motorik comfortably by their side. The more I listen to this disc, the more I love it and more I respect the unity of the band; the space they allow Sio to plow her bass lines, until the time comes to pile on the sound in a massive fit of claustrophobia. The band likes to think of their sound as futuristic garage, and that holds well for me. If a bunch of androids were suddenly given life, a collection of instruments and a killer record collection, they'd have a hard time beating this.--Racerbuy here:

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