Ben Winch's Album Review
Time was Brett Sova would have had a major label deal and “Eyes Have It” would be a hit, so long as Sova was content to let a big-name producer smooth its quirks and a session drummer make it swing a bit. Well it’s 2018. Sova releases records through Kill Shaman, Richie and Drag City, has a few thousand listens on Soundcloud and a few hundred on YouTube, and despite that he enlisted a bassist and second guitarist for Motor Earth he may be churning out choogle like this precisely because he’s calling the shots—no label to second-guess him, no drummer to get bored during the solos. Motor Earth is resolutely underground, warm and uncynical. Sure it’s ragged in places but it rocks. Songs are perfunctory but inspired. There’s no shortage of riffs, some great. I like his voice too, or what I can hear of it. And anyone who can make something even slightly new from a Telecaster and a Keith Richards obsession is all right by me. As to the drum machine, it’s mixed low, and its robotic groove may well be the modern component required to offset the nostalgia. In a way it’s almost shoegaze, this wall-of-guitars grind with hidden melody, though Kevin Shields would never have let himself sound so classic. It reminds me a little of the Jesus and Mary Chain’s Barbed Wire Kisses (their b-sides album). Maybe if the Mary Chain had never signed to Polydor they would have done something similar. Less guitar heroics, of course, but that same classic almost-throwaway vibe that seems so easy but is in fact so rare. Other highlights: “Violent Yellow”, “Like an Intruder” “Emoticog”. One to watch.