Motorists: Touched By The Stuff [Album Review]

| |

Touched By The Stuff
We Are Time/Bobo Integral [2024]

Album Overview: Motorists is a Toronto-based trio featuring guitarist Craig Fahner, bassist Matt Learoyd, and powerhouse drummer Nick McKinlay. They came together with a shared love for ’90s alt-rock and power-pop, with Fahner and Learoyd having a long history of collaboration since their high school band days. Touched by the Stuff is Motorists’ sophomore album, that hits you with a robust sound that blends power-pop with ’90s alt-rock influences. The album was crafted over an extended period and features contributions from all band members, including live-recorded instrumentals and extensive overdubs. It is an album that has a raw DIY vibe to it with a delivery that feels more like The dB’s records from the 80’s.

Musical Style: The album’s style is a mix of stadium-sized and classic power-pop with a twist of fuzzy ’90s alt-rock, reminiscent of Big Star and Hotline TNT. It incorporates elements like squelching electronics, vibraphones, and handclaps, giving it a rich and layered sound.

Evolution of Sound: Compared to their debut, Touched by the Stuff shows a more composed and individually written approach. The band moved from the spontaneous vibe of their first album to a more structured and meticulously arranged collection of songs.

Artists with Similar Fire: Motorists’ sound on this album can be likened to bands like Big Star, Uni Boys, Velvet Crush, Young Guv, and Sloan, especially with their catchy power-pop melodies and alt-rock riffs that run throughout Touched By The Stuff.

Pivotal Tracks: Key tracks include “Decider,” with its Britpop flair and dynamic changes; “Back To The Queue,” a song about resilience; “Embers,” a tender ballad; and “L.O.W,” which features heavy riffs inspired by the Smashing Pumpkins. “Call Control” and “Phone Booth in the Desert of the Mind” are also standout tracks that showcase the band’s range and thematic depth.

Lyrical Strength: The album’s lyrics explore themes of personal struggle, resilience, and introspection. Songs like “Back To The Queue” and “Phone Booth in the Desert of the Mind” dive into the complexities of maintaining strength in adversity and the desire to escape societal pressures, respectively. The lyrics are a blend of literary ambition and straightforward, relatable narratives.

Surrounded (2021)

Instagram | Bandcamp | We Are Time | Bobo Integral

Thomas Wilde

Hayes Noble – “Got Over It” [Video]

Leave a Comment