Morphine Social Club – Monolithic Gospel

A mundane and somewhat depressing scientific explanation for the visionary premonitions of the priestesses of the Oracle of Delphi is that the women in question were in fact drugged or poisoned, possibly from volcanic gasses emanating from beneath the temple. If this is true, and we’re not saying it is, it would mean that stoner rock has very ancient roots in the cradle of Western civilization indeed. This heritage is now tended to by Morphine Social Club, whose self-released EP Monolithic Gospel aims not to prophesy, but to spray paint the world with psychedelic stoner rock.

From the very first second it is obvious that Morphine Social Club is all about tight song-writing. There is a certain laid-back, sludgy sound, but there is very little nonsense. The tracks are almost punk-like in their straight-forwardness and clarity. There are fuzzy guitars, strange synthesizers and bass effects, odd and drug tinged titles (“Starship of Perception”, anyone?), and anything else you could hope for from your stoner-psych, but the arrangements go right for the jugular. No meandering here, except when absolutely necessary.

It is refreshing to see musicians like this not label their music “doom” for no reason at all except some vague 70’s influences. This is stoner rock, possibly psychedelic rock, and not very much metal at all. At times it is unusually aggressive for the genre – especially in “Chaos Lover” – which adds a nice touch. Nonetheless the band is probably at their strongest when they create meditative, dreamy and darkened morphine mists – even if those mists are always strictly structured and traditionally musical. “Swansong” sounds somewhat like Forgotten Woods or Joyless at their stoner rockiest, “Your Sun is so Toxic” is driven and almost dance friendly (in a dark way…), and actually every track here works. In short: this EP is simply great and makes you pine for more.

At this point the album is available for digital purchase from the band, and hopefully there will be enough interest to make sure a label picks these guys up. This should be pretty damn great live, and apart from a physical release, a label should be able to get them on the road outside of Thessaloniki. Support!

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