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Brand X - Morrocan Roll CD (album) cover

MORROCAN ROLL

Brand X

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.08 | 172 ratings

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JackFloyd
4 stars The second of Brand X's golden trilogy and their most famous son.

It is essentially the same band, but there is enough change here to differentiate it from it's older brother: first of all, percussionist Morris Pert is added to enrich the sonic picture; secondly, while Collins's drums were the center of the soundscape on Unorthodox Behaviour, now they're put in the background, serving more as a support for the other instruments; and last but not least, the music is more diverse and better written.

Morrocan Roll may have all of the attributes from above, but, for me, what really puts Unorthodox Behaviour over it is the fillerish quality of some passages: stuff like "Orbits" is simply tedious and the repetitive sections of "Why Should I Lend You Mine (When You Have Broken Yours Off Already)?" leave me cold, and yet, I quite like "Collapsar", and "Maybe I'll Lend You Mine After All..." is elegant enough even if the riff is ripped-off "The Cinema Show".

As for the other songs: "Sun In The Night" begins the list of Collins-sung-songs-on-Brand-X-records, but differently from the awful "Soho" and the bland "Don't Make Waves", this is a brilliant track, with the singable sanskrit lyrics and a lightspeed sitar solo; the drum solo opening "Hatezone" is very nice and the tune itself is a heavy metal funky gem if such thing is possible; "Disco Suicide" is Zappa-like in the early stages, but the main riff in the middle and it's grand finale reprise in the end comes from a different place altogether; "Malaga Virgen" is typical Percy, something which means mindblowing in my book, that said, after it's shimmering freak out beginning and energetic sections afterwards it can't help but drag during the unaccompanied atmospheric bass solo in the middle, but it thankfully returns to form if only to end all of the sudden; and then there's "Macrocosm", the jewel of the album for me, menacing and playful at the same time, made even more surprising because of Goodsall's solo on the acoustic guitar, Lumley's atmospherics and the 'f**k it all' ending.

Brand X was growing to something bigger than their debut pointed at, but one thing they didn't knew very well was how to take away the filler, and that would become more and more common in their future works.

JackFloyd | 4/5 |

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