Whether you ask bandmembers or longtime fans for the decisive moment when Motorpsycho
became, for lack of a better word, themselves, almost all will point to Demon Box
. It was the band's third and last album for Voices of Wonder Records. Their previous two, 1991's Lobotomizer
and 1992's Soothe
, showcased elements of the persona that gels here, but not the totality. Demon Box
moves far beyond the hard psych, grungy guitar, and indie tendencies of those albums toward more formal song and compositional structures, as well as the far-flung experimentalist and improvisational frontiers that made them legends. This marks the album where Helge Sten
) was an actual full-time member, adding his strategized electronic mayhem to their mix. It not only thwarted fan expectations at the time, but subverted them as the band reinvented itself in its own image. It was originally recorded as a double LP and issued in an edition of 500. The label insisted the band trim the record to fit on a single compact disc (which only held 40 minutes of music in the format's early days). They capitulated by cutting three tracks -- "Gutwrench," "Mountain," and "Mr. Who." Even trimmed, Demon Box
, with its jarring mélange of rock and pop songs and jam styles (which seemingly pushed in all directions at once), noisy ambiences, and riffs, became the template on which almost every album that followed would be based.