Be the Engine
The Motor Primitives formed in 2003 and have developed a devoted following. During live performances, the Motor Primitives lead their audiences through sets that span high energy dance inducing tunes to mid tempo head bobbers to warm grooving melodic songs. The atmosphere is always friendly and encourages interaction between the band members and audience. Be The Engine strives to capture that live show energy! Singer-songwriter Pam Barrett has a dreamy yet direct voice, Kat Spring rips elegant and driving solos, Matthew Sanborn play a frisky bass and Robin Davies beats the hell out of his drums. Together the Motor Primitives play melodic rock with sophisticated arrangements. During a recent radio interview, the band members were jokingly referred to as the songwriter, the tweaker, the punk-rock drummer and the Canadian. The Songwriter Lead singer and rhythm guitarist Pam Barrett is the chief songwriter who employs a throaty, quavering vocal style. The music she writes is direct and poetic, inspired by her passions and politics. She's confident onstage, has charisma, and a boatload of catchy songs. The Tweaker Matthew Sanborn is a fine solo artist in his own right who lends his talents as the Motor Primitives' bassist and principle arranger. His ability to weave seamless and complementary riffs and fills as a song unfolds encourages the listener to, rewind, and listen again. The Punk-Drummer The Motor Primitives rhythm section is expertly filled out by the drumming of Robin Davies. A veteran musician (the Tar Babies), he lends a driving, clean rhythm to each song. His style is fun to both hear and watch as he intensely listens and "feels" for the ebb and flow of the music. The Canadian The Motor Primitives line up is rounded out by Kat Spring on lead guitar. She brings a catalog of riffs to each show that is astounding. At first glance, one sees a pleasant, unassuming young woman on stage. However, at first note, one hears tonally expressive melodies that seem to flow effortlessly from her Strat. CD Review: The Motor Primitives: Be the Engine (Boat) Tom Laskin, The Isthmus, 2/16/6 The Motor Primitives crisp pop-rock seems to spring from another era. Singer-guitarist Pam Barrett's lulling melancholy vocals sometimes recall Chrissie Hynde, but the bands song writing and arrangements owe more to classic '60s scribes like Del Shannon and Roy Orbison. Barrett's vibrato delivery on the albums moody closer 'Sundown,' brings chills; so does Matthew Sanborn's lowdown, cowboy-music inspired bass part on the artfully roped-in folk-rocker 'Canopy.' With a running time of under 20 minutes, Be the Engine is quite short. In fact, it feels more like an EP. On the upside, the Motor Primitives are a very economical band, and hardly a note is wasted.