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The Morrigan - Wreckers CD (album) cover


The Morrigan


Prog Folk

3.29 | 7 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars The Morrigan rides back

After the impressive Prog Folk of Rides Out, The Morrigan reverted a bit to their original, more traditional Celtic Folk Rock style again with Wreckers. Indeed, in many ways the present album would have made more sense as a follow-up to the 1985 debut, Spirit Of The Soup, than as a follow-up to Rides Out. A couple of songs on Wreckers actually appeared already on the debut in earlier and different versions. But it would be somewhat unfair to say that Wreckers doesn't advance things beyond Spirit Of The Soup. This is, after all, a more varied and more eclectic album than the debut and the quality of the material and recordings is improved. However, the progressive aspects of the previous album are much less evident here. Steeleye Span and similar classic British Folk Rock bands still seem to be the primary inspiration, but the symphonic, Camel-like feel of Rides Out is nowhere to be found on Wreckers. Rather, this is a moderately eclectic mix of traditional British and Celtic Folk, straightforward Rock and some jazzy leanings. Regrettably, they mostly alternate between these different styles rather than fusing them together into something genuinely new and original. The great instrumental opener The Miller's Dance is an exception though and is the most progressive number on the whole album.

Songs like Yarrow and Banks Of Green Willow are pure British Folk Rock ballads in the style of 60's Fairport Convention and 70's Steeleye Span with superb and heartfelt Sandy Denny-like vocals from Cathy Alexander, and some tasteful acoustic guitar playing from Collin Masson. Both songs tell gripping stories. Cold Haily Windy Night and Cold Blows The Wind are two songs that originally appeared on the band's debut album, but the new version of the former is radically different. The present version is jazzy and almost funky! When The Rain Comes Down is also a bit funky with its almost reggae-rhythm.

Wheels Turning is the only real Rock number of the album, and it is a rather straightforward affair that I find somewhat out of place on the album despite a decent instrumental break. Masson's electric guitar sound is constantly evolving and it never sounded as clean as this, he can be compared to Steve Hackett and Mike Oldfield. The line-up is filled out by a drummer called Arch, a flautist called Mervyn B. and a second guitarist called Dave Lodder. Again, several of the members provide keyboards and backing vocals.

Overall, I find this album less interesting and less consistent than the previous Rides Out and I also think that subsequent albums would be improving over the present one. This is thus not the best place to start you investigation of this unfairly overlooked band. Recommended to all who likes eclectic and unconventional, but not necessarily progressive, Folk Rock.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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