This may be their first album for eight years but as soon as Bothering Me’s boisterous Hollywood Brats style musical swagger starts emanating from the speakers, it seems like they have never been away. How quickly we fall back into line, them delivering acid-laced raucous garage rock and us lapping up every second of it.
Now based in Düsseldorf, vocalist Leighton Koizumi has gathered around him a veritable who’s who of European psychedelia, fuzz and garage rock players including Rob Louwers on drums, Oliver Pilsner on bass and Marcello Salis and Bernadette on guitar. And if the line up might have been refreshed, the sonic identity of the band is still reassuringly single-minded. Guitars are sludgy, fuzzed out and pushed to the edge, drums are wonderfully tribal, basses pulse relentlessly, pianos are hammered to within an inch of their lives and in the eye of the storm Koizumi partakes in a shamanic ritual to conjure the spirits of long dead bikers and beatniks, hippies and surfers, drop-outs and freaks.
Songs such as Easy Action strut and swagger with cocky confidence, Heart of Darkness is a strange swirl of gothic-folk-pop and One Foot in the Grave is a solid gold slice of highly charged Bolan-esque rock. For all their raw approach, jagged angles, dark hearted rock vibes and warped psychedelic leanings, they never lose sight of the hook and the melody. Bone crunching and visceral this may be but you never lose the urge to dance, yell, jump about and spill your beer as a libation to the Gods of Rock’n’Roll. The more you spill on their behalf the stronger they become which probably makes The Morlocks nothing short of high priests.
Wanna join a cult?