"Jazz for the Deaf" (The Laser's Edge / Free Electric Sound; 2009)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Don’t let the title fool you – this isn’t a jazz album. Morglbl are experts in high energy rock instrumentals that utilize jazz as a template for a widely disparate group of songs. Anyhoo … “Jazz for the Deaf” is a creative tour de force (I had to use my limited French knowledge for this uniquely unlimited French trio – and I’m disappointed I didn’t think of it before).

“Jazz for the Deaf” sounds more cohesive and more band-like – and the songwriting for the vast majority of the album is collectively penned by the Morglbl trio. The hyped, amped musical creations teeter on the brink of chaos yet somehow Morglbl pull everything together. Godin has a bottomless well of ideas and musical colors to choose from. Bassist Roughy has an equally prominent voice in the recordings. New drummer Aurelien Ouzoulias sounds like he’s been in the band for years. The trio combines their extensive skills resulting in enjoyable, listenable, and ultimately spectacular songs.

Creatively, Morglbl hit stark new heights with the dark “Borderline” and the dramatic “Stoner de Brest.” isn’t too far behind. “Myspacebook” is a frenetic funk freakout that defies description. “The Monster Within” is a number fitting of the kinds of arrangements that Metallica have been exploring recently. The other tracks are equally as engaging with a plethora of spectacular riffs, brazen arrangements, and outrageous melodies.

“Jazz for the Deaf” is a solid rock instrumental album that will be appreciated by fans of instrumental music as well as guitar aficionados. If Morglbl keep making new CDs I will definitely run out of adjectives and other superlatives to describe their stellar approach.

“Jazz for the Deaf” was produced by Morglbl.

Morglbl is Christophe Godin on guitar and vocals, Ivan Roughy on bass, and Aurelien Ouzoulias on drums.

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"Toons Tunes from the Past" (The Laser's Edge / Free Electric Sound; 2008)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Due to the success of Morglbl’s third album, “Grotesk,” The Laser’s Edge has reissued Morglbl’s first two albums as a 2-disc package entitled “Toon Tunes from the Past.” Originally recorded in 1998 and 1999 respectively “The Morglbl Trio” and “Bienvenue a Morglbl Land” are chock full of the same fusion-based tunes that vary from frantic explosions of notes and calm songs that soothe rather than excite – and that’s a good thing.

These largely-instrumental albums exhibit the same playful attitude and creative composing that are found on the recent and very solid “Grotesk.”  The remarkable playing is really what gets your attention, though.  Overall, on this compilation the compositions are more varied with perhaps a greater emphasis placed on the mellower songs which in turn allows the virtuosity of the trio to be all the more obvious. The sophomore album “Bienvenue a Morglbl Land” has consistently *heavier* tunes often rushing headlong into odd-metered playing that is like a jolting, jarring roller coaster ride.

A couple of bonus tracks on the second album “Bienvenue a Morglbl Land” make the dual reissue a worthy pickup for established fans of Morglbl.

Anyone that was even slightly impressed with “Grotesk” will be duly impressed with “Toon Tunes from the Past.”

“Toons Tunes From the Past” was produced by Christophe Rodin.

Morglbl: Christophe Godin on guitar and vocals, Ivan Rougny on bass and vocals, and Jean Pierre Frelezeau on drums and vocals. Various guests make contributions across the two albums.

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"Grotesk" (The Laser's Edge / Free Electric Sound; 2007)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Free Electric Sound, a sub-label of The Laser's Edge, is known for having an eclectic mix of artists. French trio/fusion masters extraordinaire Morglbl are the latest addition to the Free Electric Sound roster.  “Grotesk” is Morglbl’s third CD after an extended hiatus.

Musically “Grotesk” is at all times playful; please see the cover art for more proof. While I am tempted to throw Morglbl into the fusion genre it would be a disservice to them. Morglbl are more like Steve Vai’s fever-induced jazz spasms.

I have spent the majority of my music listening life only caring about the guitar parts in songs. Having made more effort in the recent past to listen to bass and drums within the songs I am listening to music with a renewed sense of wonder. With “Grotesk,” Morglbl play the guitar and bass parts in separate, but complementary, patterns. It’s refreshing for me to listen to music like this. And it makes me excited to hear music, even if it doesn’t necessarily and easily fall into the pure metal category. I am confident that there are a lot of guitar fanatics out there that will appreciate it as much as I do.

Sometimes the musical ideas seem like half-baked studio ruminations; literal throwaways, if you will. But the purity in those ideas contain a certain freshness to the proceedings. It doesn’t sound like any of the basic ideas that formed these songs were over-thought or otherwise stripped of their initial joy via revision and/or editing. Of all the tracks, “Fevrier Afghan” is one of the more metallic numbers with stellar soloing over distorted glory.

Fans of guitar luminaries such as Steve Vai and Allan Holdsworth will love what Morglbl have to offer.

“Grotesk” was produced by Rock et Chanson & Morglbl. 

Morglbl: Christophe Godin on guitar and vocals, Ivan Rougny on bass and vocals, and Jean Pierre Frelezeau on drums and vocals.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:59:47 -0400.