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Dick Heath
Jazz-Rock Specialist
4 stars

What a wonderful album and why did it take me so long to find it - why did it take me so long to find Morglbl? Grotesk is one of those rare albums that has hardly been off the home and car CD players since I received it about 6 weeks ago from Amazon, (early December 2008). The only fault I can find: the record should be longer - but there is 'Toons Tunes' to explore.

So what got me, and admittedly most of my friends who I allowed a chance to sample the record? Morglbl (pronounced 'Morgalball'?), a trio of French musicians have produced an excellent fusion of jazz rock, metal shred, great hooks, Gallic humour (both in daft, scat lyrics, and their choice of tunes/arrangements - for instance I guess we given a couple of French folk songs duly treated), all played very well, very tightly and often with evident and infectious urgency. I don't think there is one duff tune, and besides, unlike a lot of jazz fusion, many of the tunes here have that grey whistle test factor - these are memorable. One guitarist friend felt the lead playing was influenced by Steve Vai, but I hear those Holdsworthian touches slipped in too. The sense of fun is enhanced further with the instruments being made to talk to each other, so a conversation seems to impromptually breakout midway through a couple of tunes - a practice more common in straight jazz than jazz rock, surely? And as to the PA label 'eclectic', personally I believe those pundits must refering to the first two albums, now available as the twoforone already mentioned, Toons Tunes From The Past.

Grotesk answers Zappa's question: is the humo(u)r in music?, and with a resounding YES! Would you expect otherwise once you've seen the artwork on the CD insert?

If you enjoy this then you will enjoy the compilation of their two earlier albums plus outtakes, issued by Laser Edge Records, Toons Tunes From The Past. Btw why do so many independent American labels make the effort to release European acts, too often ignored at home?

4.5 star - higher later if I find Grotesk can't be played to death..................

Report this review (#200180)
Posted Thursday, January 22, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Yes!! I saw them at Nearfest and was blown away. They were so popular, that they were called back on stage three times. After the show, I bought this album and got it signed and the next day I listened to it on the way back home. Not as good as the live show, I admit, but still an amazing effort from a totally underground fusion rock band. Popularly described as PRIMUS meets STEVE VAI, amazing jam band style jazz rock dominated by guitar melodies and funky bass. There are also a few ZAPPA roots that shine on songs like Tapas nocturnes and Février afghan. My personal favorite song on the album (which was also the best live) is Le projet pied-de-biche. The guitar intro is quite humorous because Godlin makes it sound like its trying to communicate with the listener. The bass solo is also a highlight of the song. The production quality of the album isnt bad at all, but its just average.

This album is very interesting and refreshing and cool and can be appriciated by almost anyone who likes music.


Report this review (#201171)
Posted Friday, January 30, 2009 | Review Permalink

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