Morgen -self titled CD
Morgen (S/T) 2004 Radioactive
With all the strip mining that’s gone on over the years who would’ve thought there was any gold left in the 1960s mother lode. But Radioactive have unearthed a real gem with Morgen-from a major label, no less. Hailing from Long Island, New York home of Lou Reed, Billy Joel and mind-numbing traffic, the band’s lone release came out in 1969 on ABC’s Probe label. The album was, appropriately, the brainchild of Steve Morgen, who sang, played lead guitar, wrote all the songs and shared in producing.
The record contains stellar playing throughout and on songs such as “She’s the Nitetime” and “Eternity in Between” they combine a Buffalo Springfield vibe with the attack of The Who. The former is propelled by a fuzz bass and plenty of feedback guitar and lets us hear Morgen (the man) psychoanalyze himself. The latter is also a catchy rocker with a drum solo that doesn’t make you want to leave the room. Music from the land where The Association handle the vocals for The Velvet Underground.
The liner notes list only Steve Morgen as singer but you’d swear everybody in the band was given a shot at the mike. So “Of Dreams” displays the quietest, disembodied vocals, sounding as though they’re from a world not our own, while “Purple” and “Love” come off like Jim Morrison, though lacking his misanthropic bent. Elsewhere, he just sorta yells.
It all wraps up with the ten-minute “Love”, the obligatory full-on freak out with guitar playing that takes the path less traveled and with lyrics like “I want you to fill my cavities, please don’t ever leave me ’till I grow tired of your love”, who could resist a come-on like that? Novocain, sir?
Morgen has a foot in the psychedelic realm and also that of hard rock with bands such as The Amboy Dukes and Blue Cheer. Definitely a period piece but it wears its influences well without being bound by any one of them.
Published in Ugly Things Magazine