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Articles Home » 2014 Articles » Morriss, Mark - 2014 A Flash Of Darkness
Morriss, Mark - 2014 A Flash Of Darkness

ARTIST: Morriss, Mark
ALBUM: A Flash Of Darkness
LABEL: Acid Jazz
YEAR: 2014


LINEUP: Mark Morriss - electric and acoustic guitars, vocals, piano, keyboards, bass, percussion * Gordon Mills - drums, percussion, electric guitar, bass guitar, mandolin, keyboards * Andy Nunn - clarinet, saxophone, piano, keyboards * Adam Devlin - electric guitar, acoustic guitar, autoharp * Matt Berry - harmonium * Ben Castle - saxophone * Lillian Todd-Jones - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 A Flash Of Darkness * 02 Consuela * 03 Guilty Again * 04 It's Hard To Be Good All The Time * 05 Pink Bullets * 06 Low Company * 07 Life Without F(r)iction * 08 This Is The Lie (And That's The Truth) * 09 Space Cadet * 10 Nightcall * 11 Sleep Song



OK, bit of a challenge for me, going to try and do my shortest article ever. Why? Because I am not convinced how much interest this album will have for most of you guys, but that doesn't mean to say you shouldn't be at least aware of its existence. So what's the background? One Mark Morriss, once of The Bluetones (heard of them, but never had any of their stuff either) but now a member of Master Matt Berry's backing group, The Maypoles, but at the same time still releasing solo albums of the highest regard. In a way I am trying to write an article that will have more viewings than words, yes you would be this bitter if you supported England at the Cricket World Cup.

The Songs
This is the kind of album that sites like and its famous pre-cursor fanzine, Frontline would get overly excited about. You would then subsequently find it in a damp basement record shop, with a promo sticker on the cd casing, somewhere in Soho, (Mr CD shop springs to mind, anybody remember that place?). Excellent songs, clever lyrics, I mean if you can manage to incorporate 80's TV detective Jim Bergerac into a lyric, like Mark does on the song, 'Consuela', then to me it don't get that much better. Not an AOR vibe in sight, but it still shows that there is a genuine effect and focus gone into creating melodies. Personal highlights would be the title track along with its Spaghetti Western style opening, 'Life Without F(r)iction' and the best being the immense 'Nightcall', found tucked up right at the end of the album. While repeated playing you find that the album continues to branch out, the songs seem to be like bramble bushes blocking my path while out running (actually many a time, my hat gets caught and I have to venture back to unhook it) in the countryside by tangling with my music sensibilities and not letting go. Who is this album aimed at and who would it appeal to? If I was going to be obnoxious, I would say the readers of MOJO magazine, but for those on a more even keel, I would be happy to say those in the Tilbrook/Difford camp and maybe a more light hearted Kyle Vincent. The album provides a specific intensity I have not heard for a while.

In Summary
While my Matt Berry reviews are still in progress, I can blame him for my introduction to Morriss, as he was the opening set for the Berry concert at The Forum, London last weekend. Not having time to purchase the CD before the concert I resorted to YouTube to listen to the album, and it's the first time I have managed to sit through a whole album via this source. So on my return, an essential purchase of the physical album was made. Don't be put off by the cover that seems to be taken from a new Nintendo DS edition of 'Animal Crossing' either (although on closer inspection it's actually a piece of dark imagery); because Mark's melodic form continues throughout the album. Another enjoyable album discovered and with an article below 550 words, both missions accomplished.

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#1 | gdazegod on February 27 2015 15:31:33
Mark Morriss - 2014 Space Cadet
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