Night Motor: Fatal
CD | DL
Released: 7 June, 2021
Blistering album from post-punk garage band.
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Blasting out like a souped-up Ford Cortina with attitude, Night Motor’s latest album, Fatal, smacks you in the face from the first song and doesn’t let up over the next 12. Distilling post-punk attitude with garage sensibilities, Fatal comes across like a mix between the Fall, early Pere Ubu and a smattering of The Seeds. It creates an exciting experience from Mawgan Lewis (guitar and backing vocals), Mat McIvor (vocals), Pete Knight (bass), Kelly Green (keyboards, theremin and backing vocals) and Jonny Hipgrave (drums and samples).
Blessed and Cursed, with its cynical singing and driving bass, comes across as post-punk from graffiti streets, no future minds and a bored greyness, with a curled lip at anything considered cool. Punk may have been about stealing cars but post-punk was about walking around and around under grey skies. The Milkman has a paranoid guitar sound like badly wired brain waves and vocals like a spasmodic, twitching, angry geek. Martyr starts with a drum beat that could be straight from Joy Division, with a heavy bassline and industrial noises. The drums and bass on Paradise give a tight backbeat for the guitar and theremin/keyboard space to drift and explore the spaces in between, a place where ‘dreams and fears and hope collide – another day in paradise’.
But, just as post-punk had many sides, there are also more sides to this band than post-punk.
White Witch starts with a Klaus Fluoride style bassline, a rockabilly beat with psychedelic guitar, and vocals like a crazed preacher on Speaker’s Corner. The sound of a theremin adds a spooky 60s feel. It could be a forgotten 60s garage classic brought up to date. There are the goth-tinged Deadpool, with its noir club beat, and Stone Age with a primitive beat reminiscent of Ausgang.
Life could be 80’s indie-pop that has a hint of the forgotten great band, Lowlife. Confessions is out and out punk with brittle guitar work and angry vocals just ‘screaming the blues’. Whilst Termination has vocals that are delivered in a rapping style over a Wire sounding beat. Album closer, Chloroform (a nod to the classic Strychnine?) has a perfect sixties garage sound and freaky sounds, man. Mat McIvor singing ‘Why don’t you just come upstairs?’ sounds perfectly creepy.
Fatal is a paranoid, tension-filled, slightly bleak, quirky post-punk, with 60’s garage, goth and pop thrown in to create a great album experience. If they’re as good live as they sound on record, then can’t wait to catch them live.