The Morrighan – One Hour On Earth – Album Review

By • Sep 8th, 2008 • Category: Alternative, Electronica, Music, Techno, Trance

The Morrighan are great, no two ways about it. I stumbled across them last year and was totally blown away by the energy this band develops. But, lets start this review somewhere back in our childhoods…

Remember the buzz you got at Christmas when you discovered the biggest package under the chrissie tree had your name on it and even better,when you opened it up, it turned out to be just what you wanted? Well that’s the feeling I got when opened the parcel the band sent me and I loaded up the Morrighan’s CD into the MP3 player.

The Morrighan’s music is truly yummy stuff. Take a riotous mix of electro, classical, techno-rock and trance. Dirty it up a bit. Shoe-horn in some samples from some of my favourite movies like Contact , Star Trek and some bits from assorted TV doco’s. Jam it all together and somehow it all just works. It also doesn’t hurt that Jon-X’s vocals occasionally remind me of early Genesis era Peter Gabriel in places.

And that’s just the first track Wilderness. There are still another six tracks to go. Lets have a quick look at a few more…

Back In The Game” is up next, a track with a slower tempo that gives space for Cecily Fay’s vocal to develop, great production with the layers and layers of vocals and guitars. Works for me.

Money Magic” is a track that seems forced and slightly out of place, this is probably the least successful track on the album. Cicely’s vocals lack engagment. The production is good but it doesn’t work for me. Your mileage may vary.

Inferno” on the other hand is a wonderful atmospheric trip through sonic landscape. You can hear the dry heat, it would make a great sound track for a Spanish road movie. This track is a killer, the vocals intrigue  and draw you in to the song, the drums and guitars evoke a slight hint of a Moorish sound, it works so well and I fully expect to hear it on CSI one day. Inferno has taken up permanent residence on the MP3 player.

Inferno

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Radio Friendly? I hear you ask. Hell no. The shortest track on this album is six and half minutes long. The length of these tracks let the songs unfold and gives the band time to play with their ideas and develop them. There is light and shade here, the production and arrangements have managed to preserve a sense of dynamics and the ideas presented I find are genuinely interesting. Basically all the stuff radio programmers hate.

This album seems to move in many directions at once. It successfully explores the dichotomy between electronic and more natural textures, between Cicely’s and Jon’s vocals and say the V Drums that Rita plays. In many ways it’s as primitive as it is futuristic. It has an exuberance that isn’t found in a lot of more commercial music these days and while these seemingly divergent themes might sound like some post-modern musical meltdown, it’s clear that this is the sound of a band growing into its own voice.

Every time I watch this band’s live videos I am reminded that music is an event; a social experience that should be shared rather than, (as Jeff Tweedy from Wilco pointed out “A piece of art is not a loaf of bread”) just  another commodity to be consumed. JON-X (singer/co-producer/writer) Cecily Fay (singer, co-writer/producer) and the rest of the band have turned out a fine piece of work in “One Hour On Earth”.

Highly Recommended.

Websites at www.morrighan.com and www.myspace.com/themorrighanband

My original review of “Wilderness” can be found at duggup.com.au/2007/10/16/the-morrighan/

is fascinated by guitars, music, guitars, production, silly noises, guitars and used to be a musician. Did I mention the thing about the guitars?
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