Infestations come in many kinds and shapes but few if any are as fascinating and compelling as the sound of UK heavy rockers Morass Of Molasses. It is a proposition which devours the senses whilst ensnaring the imagination, a beast of sonic invasion and melodic seduction which has never been more vital than within the band’s new album, The Ties That Bind.
The Reading hailing trio’s second album is simply a feast of rousing sounds and beguiling imagination; an encounter which reeks of unpredictability and revels in the surprises that offers even as one having a close ear on all to escape the creative cavern of vocalist/ Baritone guitarist Bones Huse since his days as part of the also seriously magnetic Karn8. A whole different proposition though it was on record and before us as we stood grooving to that earlier outfit at a Guildford gig, the seeds to the heavy blues might and weight of the 2013 formed Morass Of Molasses could be heard in many ways being sown.
It is fair to say that the first two tracks unleashed by the band soon after it’s rising up from the thick southern swamps of the UK left the senses caked in dirt and rancor, a trespass so easy to devour and by so many. Soon the band was laying their tar thick sounds, lumbering riffs, and viscous grooves down alongside the likes of Crowbar, Orange Goblin, Ohhms, Vodun, Elephant Tree, Desert Storm, Mammoth Weed and many more, the sonically infesting of the Jaegermeister stage at Bloodstock Festival with their acclaim gathering sound another spark to opportunities for relentless touring and sharing stages with such bands. The release of the So Flows Our Fate EP in 2015 simply sealed the deal though it was soon seriously eclipsed by debut album, These Paths We Tread two years later as the evolution of their sound flourished.
Now that striking release has been simply outshone by its successor, The Ties That Bind a tantalising kaleidoscope of textures and imagination as heavy and ravenous as an avalanche, as melodically syrupy as the outcome of the event which inspired the band’s name, and simply imaginatively mesmeric and creatively unforeseeable. The album rises up through The Darkening, its initial quiet on the side of portentous even as an elegant melody lights its path. Its brief but alluring invitation springs into the following Woe Betide, predacious riffs and swinging rhythms colluding with beacon like grooves. The band’s sound embraces everything from blues, occult, and stoner rock to sludge and doom metal with much more in the flavouring as relished by the second track. With Bones’ distinctive tones roaring, the guitar of Phil Williams weaves, his melodic wires wrapping the track as the rhythms of drummer Raj Puni incite and impose. Continually lighting up fresh shadows and unveiling new levels of enterprise, the song just captivated, its calms sheer seduction and eruptions rousing invasions all crafted and delivered with inescapable almost devious enterprise.
Similarly Death of All invades every welcoming aspect of ears and appetite, its feral rock ‘n’ roll pouncing on the listener straight away as blues bred enticement and fiery funk grooves leads to infectious alternative rock bordering detours. Like a salacious fusion of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Iggy Pop, and Black Tusk, the track is superb but mistake us not all uniquely Morass Of Molasses.
The fires within the song are white hot smouldering in next up Estranger, the song a seductress expressing intimate thoughts as the album continues to explore themes of human connection, delving “into the deep-rooted interactions we share with each other and ourselves” via the Dark Forest motif which shapes every spark of album and songs. Every groove within the track swerves around with voluptuous temptation, Huse’s vocals backed by those of Puni, carrying a gentle swing whilst entangled in the enthralling threads woven by Williams’ guitar. As its predecessors, the song just gripped ears and imagination, new depths and invention oozing from every passing minute.
The pastoral calms of Legend Of The Five Sons beguile just as readily next, the radiant serenade keenly bewitching across its melodic beauty. Featuring the graceful tones of Sian Greenaway of doom rockers Alunah and the flute prowess of Matt Ainsworth, the song caressed the senses like a lover before As Leaves Fall builds on its folkish hues with shamanic rhythms and melodic intimation; darker shadows brewing in its own particular enchantment and exploding in the ravenous jaws of Persona Non Grata. It is a pyre of roasted grooves and manipulative rhythms scalded further by caustic riffs and vocal scowling. Again it proved so easy to greedily devour and with increasing hunger, the almost crust punk whiff which occasionally arises and especially its cosmopolitan hues delicious spicing.
The album is completed by In Our Sacred Skin and The Deepest Roots, the first an earthy assault of sound as unapologetically caustic as it is hungrily tempting which only evolves with every passing note before returning to its cycles but twisting them around with fresh adventure so expectations can never feed and the imagination can be greedy; traits the whole of The Ties That Bind embraces. The final track sees Huse and Greenaway dueting, a spellbinding union which just lights up the air as William’s guitar strolls beside them; a darker climate looming in all the while to add to the captivation and drama.
It is a glorious end to quite simply the finest moment of Morass Of Molasses by far even given the might of those before it. The band is one of the UK’s truly unique and striking propositions and through the sensational The Ties That Bind they should get the recognition, attention, and success they both deserve.
The Ties That Bind is out now via Wasted State Records; available @ https://morassofmolasses.bandcamp.com/
Pete RingMaster 04/07/2019
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