Motorists strike a sonic wave on Surrounded
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  • Post published:07/09/2021
  • Post last modified:07/09/2021

Despite its relatively merry inclination, Surrounded has a deeper layer in which isolation as a defence mechanism – something we are all aware of these days– and disaffection permeate an otherwise elated musical texture. The contrast, however, is presented in such an honest and harmless way to strike the listener’s right chords. We are all overwhelmed and unsatisfied at the same time, critical and hypocritical, moved and impassable at the same time: we are this contrast.

Motorists as a band have been around for a few years, but its members (guitarist and vocalist Craig Fahner, drummer Jesse Locke, and bassist Matt Learoyd) have been part of the Calgary music scene far longer. After doing the 33-hour drive to the more cosmopolitan Toronto, they got involved with former enfant prodige Chandra Oppenheim (go check out her 1980’s EP Transportation). The rest is history.

Surrounded is far from reinventing the wheel; quite the opposite. The overall idea is that the band could benefit from pushing the envelope by translating the positive tension which permeates the album into an equally tense musical antagonism. Dissonances and a more careful mixing of the vocals would definitely help propel the band higher up, but what we have right now is a mature trio which you would definitely appreciate beer-in-hand while carefully tapping your foot on a sticky floor.

This is a happily claustrophobic album which makes us nostalgic of the times ahead. Our floor might not be gummy, and the beer may not be warm enough, but take a look at Motorists, close your eyes and watch that stage. The music is upbeat and inspired, the band is onstage and the beer is getting comfortably warmer.

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