An occupational hazard in music criticism is the inevitable blurbology: over-hyphenated elevator pitches in favor of a new run of B-sides that “totally could have been A-sides” from a band seemingly defined by the number of genres it inhabits.

This was also the case in college. For example: someone mentions a group called, say, Dr. Pain and the Smooch of Death. “They’re pretty cool,” this person shrugs. (The shrug is always a warning sign.)

“What’s it like?” you ask, bracing yourself.

“Oh, I dunno…it’s, like, post-Punk-core with a dash of jizz-rock thrown in,” this person will nod. You too will nod, and this person will endeavor to ply you with the grainy tracks in question; if there’s weed in the room, you soldier through.

There is no tonic for the proceedings, except to get high or become an actual critic. That was the case, at least, until the emergence of Das Mötørbike, an unusual, genre-bending group of imaginary Germans who played imaginary mash-ups of imaginary styles.

Dan Sachs, who claims that he and I devised the group during a freshman-year bender now remembers that his roommate Nick Mott was responsible for the Mötørbike concept, says that its chimeric nature makes Das Mötørbike hard to pin down.

“It’s very hard to describe,” Sachs said in a phone interview. “There’s a lot of ether-metal/dreamscape rock, but in their career they’ve explored hillbilly death-metal, and also they’ve made their way through an emo phase, so they’re really all over the place.”

That elusive sound, Sachs insists, is what keeps the group relevant.

“It’s an amazing thing in any creative endeavor to see a group change their vision once, twice, much less on a tri-monthly basis,” Sachs marvels. “It’s virtuosic.”

The Mötørbike was more than a transplendent listening experience—they were the ultimate rejoinder to the music know-it-all. When one of those bastards would start hyphenating, we’d see his hyphens and raise him an umlaut.

“Have you guys heard the new Mescaline Spurs record?” someone would ask. We’d nod deprecatingly and mention DM; half the time, the person had heard of them.

“Oh yeah, Das Mötørboat, that shit’s cool, I guess.”

“Way cool,” we’d nod. “Pre-funk with a little post-nasal thing going on. Very groovy.”

Sachs calls it odd that so many kids claim familiarity with the group.

“When you google [Das Mötørbike], nothing comes up,” he observes. “It’s probably that they’re just so underground. You can’t even google them? It gives it that much more cachet, that much more coolness in certain circles.”

Thanks to City Lights editor Mike Riggs, Das Mötørbike is now immortalized on UrbanDictionary.com. Which might deal a fatal blow to my cocktail-party banter.

*Das Mötørbike will not perform at DC9 at 8 p.m. tomorrow evening. But you and your hip friends should totally still be there.

Photo courtesy of littlepois

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