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Motor Skills


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Motor skills a a three-piece from Carrboro, NC.

Motor Skills debuted last year with “Right as Hell,” one of several stunning surprises on the excellent North Carolina compilation, Hear Here: The Triangle. Pitting a skittering electronic beat reminiscent of late Radiohead against a steely-eyed, dark-lined anthem as addictive as anything Interpol has ever written, “Right as Hell” put Motor Skills high atop the must-watch list.

But for the first year of their public performances, Motor Skills—the duo of Mike Dillon and Christopher Hutcherson-Riddle, both formerly of agile rockers Spader—sold that promise short. They only brought samplers and a guitar onstage, limiting their sound range and occasionally into awkward ideas. One such trap involved a pair of silly if joyous party-rap tunes that adulterated the effect of deliberate, driven tunes like “Right as Hell”—“Pay As I Go” espoused the annals of a poor man’s dating life, while “Tickle Party” told tales of flirtatious body teasing. Fun, sure, but those moments painted Motor Skills as a band uncertain as to whether it was looking for cheap laughs or real listeners.

Now they’ve regrouped, recruiting Stuart Edwards of Old Bricks on percussion, plus a revolving pool of bassists. The new band’s currently writing fresh material that Dillion insists is more in line with the promise of “Right as Hell.”

“We have always believed that live music should be performed live,” says Dillion. “After playing as a two-piece with multiple instruments, we knew we needed a change to make things more performance-based.”

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