Since meeting in high school in the central Norwegian town of Steinkjer in the early-90s, Motorpsycho's founding members Magnus "Snah" Ryan and Bent Sæther have embarked on musical progressions over multiple genres, with collaborations, occasional line-up changes, and the development of a global following - not to mention numerous awards - cementing their position as Norway's preeminent rock behemoths.
Here Be Monsters is the zenith of the Norwegians' motorpsychodelic tendencies, with the emphasis on the blissful and melodic rather than their more hair-raising elements, but maintaining an intensity all its own. Recorded in 2015 at Trondheim's Nidaros Studio, the album contains five of the band's own compositions - the tantalizing piano intro "Sleepwalking" (and its brief reprise, "Sleepwalking Again"); the serene, beautiful "Lacuna/Sunrise" and "Running With Scissors"; the pulsing, pounding "I.M.S."; and the expansive and stunningly scenic 17-minute closer "Big Black Dog." Motorpsycho also felt it was the perfect occasion to record one of their favorite psych nuggets of old; their take on American band H. P. Lovecraft's version of Terry Callier's "Spin, Spin, Spin" adds a slightly sinister vibe to the old folk tune, which offsets and complements the grandiose, cinematic sweep of the trio's own songs.
Co-produced, engineered, and mixed by long-time co-conspirator and fellow sonic explorer Thomas Henriksen, Here Be Monsters is Motorpsycho's most hi-fi, headphone-friendly music yet, taking the listener closer to the songs' themes. While the museum version focused lyrically on history and time, this revised version looks at other aspects of life; perhaps not a jubilant celebration of existence, but a personal take on the human condition. It is Motorpsycho taking a long look into the abyss, to drive the darkness out by accepting that it is real and true and a part of us all.