Friday, January 14, 2011

Morgen-Morgen (1969)



Steve Morgen wants to be devious and menacing: that much is obvious from the testosterone-fueled, overheated psychedelic guitar runs that fill much of the material on the mystery man's album. He doesn't always succeed, and in fact at times sounds a little foolish. Still, the record is a not-bad slab of idiosyncratic heavy acid rock, often crazed in the free-falling sustain and buzz of the guitar work, and not much less restrained in his lusty songwriting, though the singing and writing aren't as good as the instrumental flash on display. Much of this tiptoes along the edges of amphetamined (and sometimes sex-starved) dementia without fully testing the waters, as though both the women in his sight and the volume knob on his amp hold the keys to physical and spiritual liberation and catharsis. The tracks and solos tend toward the overlong, and Morgen's vocals to the over-coiled. But there are some cool passages here, like the sudden rush of Jimi Hendrix/the Who-hybrid notes in "Love" as a jungle beat throbs in the background, and the lasciviously fey vocal and sweetly fuzzy guitar sustains in "Of Dreams." "Eternity in Between" does make it clear Morgen was a big Who fan, with its lifts of the chord sequence from "Underture" and the stuttering distortion of "My Generation." Given the attention lavished upon the release of another late-'60s relic featuring molten guitar playing and nearly over-the-edge songs by the Michael Yonkers Band, this seems like a reasonable candidate to be next in line for rediscovery by those who like that kind of thing. It's not as intense or gloomy as Yonkers, and in some ways it's more interesting, featuring as it does a much wider range of moods and melodies, both in the guitar sounds and the songs themselves.

1. Morgen - Welcome To The Void (4:47)
2. Morgen - Of Dreams (5:37)
3. Morgen - Beggin Your Pardon (Miss Joan) (4:49)
4. Morgen - Eternity In Between (5:06)
5. Morgen - Purple (4:11)
6. Morgen - She's The Nitetime (3:30)
7. Morgen - Love (10:53)


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