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Morgan Delt's debut 7" 'Barbarian Kings' was an absolute feast of broken-sounding psychedelic weirdness so it's exciting and daunting to finally have his debut full-length on my CD player to try to comprehend, digest and describe in bite-sized review form. Even aside from the aforementioned single, which appears early on in all its hazy east-meets-west slinkiness, Delt takes the listener on a deliriously warped psychedelic journey through Syd Barrett oddity, Tame Impala-esque cotton wool neo-psych, Spectral Parky wibble-pop weirdness, and punchy lo-fi pop with shades of Ariel Pink or even White Fence.
He does delve into more straightforward Zombies-ish psych-pop fare on tracks like 'Obstacle Eyes', and excels at that too, but I think I enjoy it most when he's making things sound all rickety and broken. He seems to do that Sparklehorse thing where he writes a perfect pop song and then immediately starts thinking about ways to sabotage it, scuff the edges or turn the whole thing inside out. There's all manner of oddball production wizardry going on here, you really get the impression that the studio is a very important songwriting tool, and the songs are impeccably crafted.
I'm only on my second listen and I'm overwhelmed by the complete listening experience that this album is, it's such a rush of creative energy that I could spend the length of this review just trying to describe a single track. 'Backwards Bird Inc.' is a big stand-out for me so far, a paranoid bass and drum riff overlaid with a bubbling stream of heavily reverbed vocals and layers of fuzzy guitar drone all locked in a primal shake, it's totally hypnotic but also one of the most energetic tracks of the collection. The whole album is great though, everything I'd hoped it would be - and my expectations were high after that single. An album to be savoured.
7/10 Vern 26th June 2014
I discovered Delt after reading Norman Records' review (thanks guys!) and thought I'd check it out. I've often fancied the idea of a proper party psychedelic album, something like The 13th Floor Elevators. The Horrors tried with their 'Luminous' (failing dismally to make anything of worth in my opinion) and other bands have some cracking, dancefloor psych vibes such as POND, Splashh and The Heliocentrics with their Andy Warhol, The Factory style of party starters.
Morgan Delt's album begins as it aims to continue. Initially sounding like a broken and tired piano piece, it soon bursts into life, throwing every ear-bending effect it can into the mixer as it squelches and beeps into life. There's a lot going but it's good fun. The next song, single "Barbarian Kings" is a slower affair, chinking along with some nice percussion and guitar. The songs are interestingly constructed, not formulaic which gives each individual song its own identity and keep the album feeling fresh even after a few weeks of having bought it. I would however say that the vocals do grate with me due to the echo, whispy effect put on them, an effect which does contribute nicely to many of the songs, but does seem overused and tiresome by the end.
Favourite tracks include "Obstacle Eyes" which winds its way gently with a fine melody on some crisp guitar which cuts through the warbling haze of vocal and keyboard effects. "Sad Sad Trip" slowly builds into a crackin' chorus with some nice bass work going on. But if were talking bass, chime into the next, and best, song; "Backwards Bird Inc.". It rumbles along with some distorted vocals floating on top. It's got quite a funky vibe and will definitely make you bob your head to it at the very least.
All in all, Morgan Delt has created a fine album which keeps to a very traditional psychedelic vibe without feeling cliche, dull nor obvious. I would recommend this album and it was nice to see Norman Records has place it in their top 50 albums list.
10/10 Jack Sharp 20th February 2014
If you described this record to me, I would probably decide I wasn’t going to like it. The influences that are bandied around when attempting to describe Morgan Delt’s music run along the same lines as many of the other nu-psych, acid drenched, cosmic rocking bands that are cropping up now, and you’d be forgiven for passing over this album as yet another of that wave… until you hear it. The music Morgan Delt makes is a very singular, insular, almost claustrophobic cluster of drips and squeals and echoes of things you think you remember, like an alien radio in deep space picking up ancient frequencies from earth and gargling them out through ectoplasm. At this time, it’s easy to feel fatigued by records whose most immediately striking element is their production, especially if that means an abundance of echo, but Morgan Delt’s use of effects along with the strong underlying seam of solid song-writing manages to be both exciting and energising. The songs and sound seem to shift and meld together organically, creating kaleidoscope patterns of familiarity that never quite settle long enough to be fully grasped. These songs stay far enough away from you that they remain mysterious and aloof, begging for you to keep chasing them down the corridor of repeat listening. For weeks after receiving this record I tried in vain to listen to anything else, always vowing to myself that another listen would break the spell and I’d be able to move on with my life. I’ve got it down to two listens a day now. In short, this is a unique and enchanting record and I hope it gives as much joy to you as it has to me.
7/10 Rob Gannon 24th January 2014
"And melt you do into a kaleidoscopic haze of deep tabla drums and five decades’ worth of psyche-pop confetti."
Read the full review here: http://www.sicmagazine.net/7100/morgan-delt-morgan-delt/
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