Møtivatiøn – The Infinite 8 Steps tø Pøwer / Møney / Møre Review

Supergroups are not uncommon in metal. I’m sure each of you can think of three such acts—of perhaps varying quality—in just a couple of seconds. Here are the first three that came to my mind: DOWN, Demons & Wizards and, for some reason, Them Crooked Vultures, which may not even qualify as metal. Also operating on that fuzzy edges of metal is today’s subject, Møtivatiøn. Where those previous bands are supergroups, using that term for Møtivatiøn is an insult to supergroups: the population of this record classifies it as a super conurbation. Seriously, this is the group you want to bring to your next rapidly escalating street brawl. This thing is made up of “twelve stirring hymns brought to fruition by members of Faith No More, Throbbing Gristle, Agnostic Front, L7, Lunachicks, Toxic Holocaust, EyeHateGod, Black Anvil, High Reaper, Obituary, the Andrew W. K. band” and more. Look at that list, then “strengthen your mind, release your bowels” (“Open”) and ready yourself for The Infinite 8 Steps tø Pøwer / Møney / Møre.

The mayor of this super conurbation, Ø, asks “Are you familiar with the field of ‘life coaches’ and ‘motivational speakers?’ Have you ever been frustrated with how artificial, and…well, ‘normal’ they tend to be? Have you ever felt like you would like a role model like that, but none of them feel relatable to you? We have.” And so Møtivatiøn brought us The Infinite 8 Steps tø Pøwer / Møney / Møre, about which there is nothing normal. Nothing normal at all. Of the dozen or so acts listed above, the best way I can describe Møtivatiøn’s sound is as a hybrid of Angel Dust-era Faith No More and Eyehategod. There is also more than a little of the first Infectious Grooves record here. It’s bassy and groovy—bordering on funk at times—but saturated with a dirty, fuzzed, bluesy sludge vibe that comes in and out of focus. Some tracks lean harder into the sludge zone (“Pay to Play” and “Control”) than others, which have much lighter, more upbeat feel (“Initium Fire/Gold”).

No doubt this is driven by who of the conurbation’s sprawling population is involved in each track but I cannot really get into that because word counts. The other aspect of the The Infinite 8 Steps is the messaging that pervades the record, and which reminded me a little of the spoken word ethos of Lovage’s Music to Make Love to Your Old Lady By, which incidentally featured Mike Patton (although it is Roddy Bottum, not Metal’s Hardest Working MikeTM, that is representing FNM here). Across the whole of The Infinite 8 Steps, Møtivatiøn adds, well, motivational, coaching-type messages and advice but these are all … altered. Take the opening of “Prison Logic,” which begins by advising in a Siri non-brand-specific-mobile-assistant-type voice “1. Hide something razor sharp somewhere lifeless and dull. 2. Don’t make friends with humans, only spiders and moths …” and so it continues.

These sensibilities are peppered across the record, not just as intros or outros to tracks but also during them, almost like radio signals that interrupt the broadcast. On my first few listens, these tickled me. They’re weird and funny, and caught my attention. The more time I’ve spent with The Infinite 8 Steps, however, the more annoying and distracting I have found these. Not the spoken word pieces of themselves, which as such things go, are pretty good but the sheer volume of them. They are a constant that distract and detract from Møtivatiøn’s actual music. To a degree, I get this: the whole thing is a shtick or a multifaceted persona developed for this project. But rather than enhancing my experience of the music, as it did with Lovage, for example, I found that each time I finished The Infinite 8 Steps, I remembered little of the music but had snippets of the ‘broadcasts’ stuck in my head.

This is surely the wrong way round and is a real shame because, unsurprisingly given the talent at its disposal, Møtivatiøn has written some good riffs and tracks like “Initium Fire/Gold,” “Revelation Denied” and “Control” are fun, well-written slabs of groovy, sludgy metal. As a whole, however, The Infinite 8 Steps tø Pøwer / Møney / Møre feels light on substance and heavy on gimmick. I’ve never been to Las Vegas, and have never wanted to either, but I imagine this is a bit what it’s like. On a casual listen, it’s easy to be wowed by the glitz and glamour but, upon leaving a few days later, you feel strangely empty and a little poorer.

Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Seeing Red Records
Websites: motivationdoom,bandcamp.com | powermoneymore.com
Releases Worldwide: February 22nd, 2022

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