Just a little more than a year since last transmission and suddenly the rotation to Motor Earth signals a new day in the life and anti-life of Axis: Sova. We expect our music to reinforce perceptions of time as an arrow bolting forward, one way, into the future. But where's the symmetry in that? Everything else in physics is two-way traffic; that's the Faustian Universe that Axis: Sova scans for its rock. Where past, present and future are all pulling together, known together – as if we could get a clean link to that other hemisphere in our brain. We're at the edge of the edge, how much further to the fringe?
The fuzzing, burning film stock of Early Surf was like a solarized sound of discontent and not-belonging, a state of dissonance within a state of reverberating vocals, circulatory systems of guitar and test-tube rock beats. The mix was tweaked, slaved over in an endless night. Motor Earth trips that trend further, rife with percolating boogie, suicidal punk shredders and cavernous rock, but this time, it's a planet cleared of sonic brush so as to cleanly reflect the star it orbits and the moon it mirrors.
A key to this was working with a wider tape-head – Sova's former four track fantasia is an ashy otherworld half-remembered, replaced on Motor Earth by a broader expanse. Buoyant low end is well-defined rather than inferred, bearing out the robo-rock propulsion that drives Axis: Sova through space. Guitar grit remains profound, but distinctly un-smeared; here, the sound of the four-track is used as a tincture, an exotic accent to the flavor.
Another thing was building a band vibe. See, Axis: Sova began as Brett Sova's one-man operation, building up and stripping out parts from new and repurposed equipment, pitting meat against machine to find interplay, equilibrium. But touring the last two years as a band blew things wide open. Motor Earth demanded that same visceral, live approach, so Axis: live band mainstay Tim Kaiser's input on guitar was necessary and utilized. Along with him, others from the Axis: inner circle visited to transmit one sound or another, telescoping Sova's terms of psychic distortion into clearer sight lines. Studio takes were live in duo and trio style, even, driving deeper into a spontaneous countryside than ever before. All the while, alien hands working the boards for the first time.
Motor Earth flames into action with the band ablaze, two guitars finishing each others sentences before expanding in the ether, only to catch fire and plunge back to earth, reentering with steel-melting velocity. This is the moment of "Love Identity," the keys to Motor Earth's ignition. Past it's album-opening arc of floating feedback, more songs reveal themselves in tightly wound chugs. "(Like An) Intruder" is a slab of classic snarl, "Eyes Have It" dances a serrated, two-note tumble. The flip stretches out – "Violent Yellow" swirls with paranoia before detonating into syncopated dual riffs; "Routine Machine" lopes a hot lead over a damaged progression, meditating like a funeral procession to album's end.