Morrow - Morrow (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Morrow (2011)

Excusions into the Abyss

Morrow have been kickin' around for a while now in my town of Bloomington, Ind. Bloomington is a town of quick turnover and tons of bands spawning tons of side projects, which makes Morrow all the more rare as veterans of the scene.

Morrow is a tight unit and play off each other's parts well. They are an extremely dynamic band, and I mean that in the most literal sense. They are not afraid to pull back, and ballsy enough to open with the "Ashland," keeping it chill for over two minutes before the pounding beat enters. "Sweet Respite to a Nevermore Melody" starts off with a dissonant crunch, pulls it back to a unique groove supplied by the hard-hitting Zac Canale, then pulls back further. It quickly revs back up and ends with a mighty bellow. They never relax at one volume too long. "Sustenance" further shows the skills and creativity of their drummer, from the subtle snare ghost-notes and tambourine of the intro, to a tom-filled verse thump, to a 16th note rim-riding beat in the transition.

"June Weather" is an epic jam. It ebbs and flows over a lumbering beat. It's nearly four minutes deep when it breaks down one last time to Roderick Deerr's fuzzy bass, as guitarist/singer Jarod Isenbarger laments "To carry my body away / To bury my body away" before one final build. This tune succeeds where a few others fall short by ending prematurely. There are a handful of sub-three-minute songs here, and they catch you off guard coming from a band who so gracefully yet powerfully transition tempos and dynamics; they should be pulling off an album of six-minute songs without blinking an eye. For example, "Weather Prophets (The Prospects of Heading West)" has a cool guitar noodle that doubles the vocal line "Where do we settle it down my friends?" and rocks out thoroughly, but like a lot of the songs found here, ends rather abruptly at 3:15. Seems like another 30 or 60 seconds could have served the song well. When closer "The Great Escape" sneaks it's way into a major key around the 2:30 mark, instead of building upon that it ends (and ends the album) less than a minute later. I feel they could have done more with that, especially since a major key is a rare thing to find on this album.

"Bombs," near the album's end, get its proper time. Skeletal guitar lines twist around as the drums enter and build slowly only to drop out again. When the song explodes, the payoff is well worth the wait. "The Unsound" has a killer ending with the group locking on to an insistent riff as Isenbarger screams, "Dance in this silence!" "By the Light of the Moon" gets into a Constantines-worthy shuffling rock groove with harmonies of "Pale colors! Pale colors!" lifted above.

While the album was recorded some time ago, it was properly released earlier this year. They've already been playing a bunch of newer songs live and I look forward to the next release.