Giddy Motors

Magmanic single
/fat cat; 2003/

i don't like marks but Barbara "the Boss" H compels me to : 9



more info:

Giddy Motors' debut lp Make it Pop which was recorded by Steve Albini and released in 2002 is one of the good albums I wanted to review but I hadn’t had time enough to do so. The release of this Magmanic ep enables me to make it up… (to whom ? Myself I suppose).

‘Magmanic ‘is one of the best song on the album, it opens both the album and the ep. It takes several directions, bewildering the listener in a good way. Its title is probably a reference to the 70’s French band Magma (which still lives on today) because of its built-up tension and its various parts that result in a ragged idiosyncratic structure in the end. Despite its chaotic aspect, it remains very attractive probably because of the merging of rhythmically complicated passages with heavy ones.

The guitar sound is fierce and urgent, the guitar riffs are often staccato and the particularly powerful rhythmic section à la Shellac conveys a great sense of energy. The latter regularly recalls the defunct Jesus Lizard as well while the singer is half-way between Steve Albini (Shellac) and David Yow, nods in the direction of the defunct Refused (screeching on ‘Magmanic’ for example) and sometimes even verges on Mark E Smith’s or Johnny Rotten’s particular style because of the English rant.

The b-sides are both violent bits of ragged hardcore: ‘Eisbar’ is a great mid-tempo hardcore song à la Jesus Lizard (circa Down & Shot) in which the German lyrics reinforce the heavy atmosphere. It is followed by an alternate version of an lp song called ‘Bottle opener’ which is here re-titled ‘Tight sauce’. The band has jettisoned the psychedelic aspect of the song to convey a punk aspect, playing it faster and meaner than on the album. This ep ends with a hidden cover song of a traditional German number (entitled ‘Hanschen Klein’ according to the biography). It is superfluous but amusing.

A few words about the album:

Giddy Motors’ songs are energetic, urgent and deconstructed in a sort of Fantômas way (‘Magmanic’, ‘Sassy’, ‘Whirled by Curses’ whose astonishing beginning can make you think of Slint; ‘Hit Cap’ merges jazz passages with heavy ones). Some calmer songs convey an impressively unhealthy atmosphere. 'Cranium Crux' is another song having a ragged structure, it begins with a guitar line reminiscent of Fugazi (End Hits) and its atmosphere is so shabby that it evokes slow heavy unhealthy songs by Daisy Chainsaw and by The Jesus Lizard once again. The American band’s ghost is also dangerously loitering around ‘Dog Hands’ (n°6 on the album). Because of the bands which the album makes me think of, I’m far from being surprised when I regularly read that Giddy Motors enjoys a great live reputation.


/feb 1st 2003/