I Am The Resurrection! #1
A Louder Than War rescue mission: some of the greatest records of our time are in danger of becoming lost and forgotten. These could be the LPs and CDs that Record and Tape Exchange won’t take or can’t shift – but are nonetheless little nuggets of unheralded brilliance. Perhaps they are the albums that have languished on your shelf, unplayed for years or even decades, that you once loved to bits?
It’s time to get these neglected treasures out of the cupboard and back on the stereo. That’s what they were made for! Here is our ongoing tribute to the ‘should’ve beens’, the ‘born too lates’ and the ‘we wuz robbeds’. Starting with…
Motocaster ‘Stay Loaded’ (1994)
A good few years before sleazy rock’n’roll took its most vocal stand courtesy of The Datsuns, The Hellacopters, Supersuckers and all the rest of them, North Carolina’s Motocaster were cranking their Hi-Watt amplifiers and getting stoned to their own riffs in SPADES. Drummer Jon Heames was the star of the live show with his Keith Moon-esque face-pulling and general musical brilliance, but it was the staggering, swaggering MC5-worshipping sound of Bo Taylor’s guitar riffery that truly shines through the passing years, here.
‘Stay Loaded’ kicks in with a three-card opening hand that is, to misquote Lord Iggy of Pop, bloody hard to beat. The high-fiving intro to ‘The Buddha’, the extraordinarily sexy riff that drives ‘The Habit’ and the Long Ryder-y rock skills of ‘Straight-Faced’ are as instantly recognisable 17 years on (oh my) as they are enjoyable.ÃÂ
For a three-piece, these boys made a heck of a sound. This was most definitely helped by Mitch Easter’s production, using a live room panelled entirely with unvarnished wood (I believe is how the story went). There must have been some rattling teeth in those sessions.
Reviewers at the time, perhaps blinded by the vintage spectacle of the drummer, tended to compare Motocaster to The Who and other 70s behemoths. But while Motocaster might have shunned the cool indie togs favoured by their fellow statesmen contemporaries Dillon Fence, Superchunk et al, there always was more to them than their bowl haircuts, jeans and cowboy boots suggested. A not-unsuccessful study of glam in ‘Uranus’, some passable country rock on ‘Farah’ and echoes of ‘I Did You No Wrong’, Pistols-style, on album closer ‘Sweet Pearl’ hinted at an eclectic if always-boisterous future. And there was plenty of Sugar, Hendrix and Replacements in the mix too.
One brief tour of the UK was all they had in them, sadly, but the handful of people who witnessed Motocaster at London’s Garage, Leicester’s Charlotte and other darkened halls across our land are unlikely to forget them in a hurry. These boys rocked. HOLY CRAP, they rocked. And the album is on Spotify, rocking still. Enjoy them.