There is certainly something in the water. Detroit is known for birthing American cars, Eminem, and holding a precarious financial situation. Of course, being the heel of Michigan is not without its intriguing benefits. Morrow’s Memory have surfaced from the Detroit region with atmospheric and invigorating music-covering all aspects of counter-culture rock and delivering handfuls of resonating interest in every riff, hook, and vocal line.
Morrow’s Memory is a collective-Brian, Joe, Scott, Mike, Zach, and Tony. For most, a list of random single and double syllable names. For fans, these names define a group of unified men in the pursuit of melodically infused rock. Like magic, or more like luck and perseverance, Morrow’s Memory entrances an audience with the almost seamless flow of a musical odyssey. Balancing hard rock mechanics with soothing vocals and a tad of keyboards, the group manages a sound that is ultimately captivating and always interesting.
Their debut full-length “Moving Forward” covers almost every front of rock. The progressive element is well intact, hoisting guitar solos and slow builds that climax like a post-rock epic. The album’s melodies give it a dash of accessibility for immediate listening, warming the group up to new listeners and opening the door for much further growth as a band. “Taken” is one of the greatest examples of their admirable ability to juggle opposing styles-pop, hard rock, prog, and of course, that extra heaping of Morrow’s Memory own special ingredient, only witnessed by the culmination of these exact five.
“Behind Your Beauty” is a touching ballad that builds into a crescendo of something far greater than any one piece. “Abandoned” recalls Thrice riffing with a moodier verse that perfectly sets up an incoming chorus. It remains a triumphant victory for the group, and an early single choice if that route ever opens.
One of the most captivating aspects of Morrow’s Memory is their lyrics. Fortunately, Morrow’s Memory never muddy their message with incomprehensible growls and yells that drive contemporary artists. Not that the style is flawed, but the approach works so brilliantly over the guitar hook and melodies of their songs, it would be a shame for the vocalist to derail that with excessive growling.
It is fair to call Morrow’s Memory a sophisticated band, though I doubt it is the approach they are going for directly. Sophistication suggests inaccessibility. Morrow’s Memory is accessible, but never “pop music” accessible. The group is demanding and abrasive in places, yet never to the point of discomfort or annoyance. Their motives are apparent and admirable. Their music speaks something to fans of hard and progressive rock. They excel with their respective instruments like Berklee Grads, and their sound acts as a melting pot of rock bands throughout the last three decades, showing a maturity in using the right influences at the right time. Using the word “powerful” is undoubtedly a cliché. Yet songs like “Evolve” and “The Road” speak for themselves. There is power. There is beauty-there is a sense that Morrow’s Memory is beyond their years, and if you open your arms to that, their captivating energy will grab hold and take you farther than you ever could have hoped.
Ryan Merkel is a cool writer guy and contributor all over the internet, from blogs on music to magazines about music to sites about playing music. He is currently founder of SunState Investing and is head editor of the music entertainment magazine, CultureTease. He has written two novels, and is currently working on a third full-length novel, surprisingly, not about music. His novel “Splatter the Noise” earned accolades for independent publishing. Be sure to check out: www.sunstateinvesting.com
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