Jan-Simon : The Wooden House Session by Swiss trio Sons of Morpheus is exactly what the title suggests: the result of a recording session in a desolate wooden cottage in the Swiss countryside. Three songs were used for a split album with German psych band Samavayo last year. Now the remaining songs are released as the band its third full album.
It has become a varied album that kicks off with a peculiar fusion of Ennio Morricone, Link Wray and Dick Dale. Doomed Cowboy is more or less in sync with the albums artwork a reverb and fuzz drenched instrumental that could have been lifted from the soundtrack of some obscure spaghetti western. With subtle hints to other classics like the Batman theme it is by all means a remarkable start of the album. An overture that makes one curious for what will be next. Sadly, Doomed Cowboy is a bit of an odd one out, compared to the rest of the album. No more surf instrumentals, the band will tap from other sources. The stoner pop in the tradition of Queens of the Stone Age that can be heard in songs like Loner and Sphere are not bad at all; they just pale in comparison with the first track.
Fortunately both extremes come together in a good way on Paranoid Reptiloid, a no brakes, pedal-to-the-metal exploration of riffs and soloing combined with melodic vocals. The Wooden House Session turns out to be a rather short album from a band that cannot choose what it wants to be. Sometimes Sons of Morpheus wants to be a wild-ass rock Mr. Hyde, a bit like Karma To Burn, one of the illustrious bands the Sons have opened for. At the same time there is a more civilized and melodic Dr. Jekyll hidden underneath the thick layers of fuzz and downtuned guitar riffs, waiting for a change to take the centre stage. Both crash together regularly and this crash is best heard in the very long closing song Slave (Never Ending Version) that combines heavy psych, bluesrock and indiepop. Going from powerchords and fuzzing bass lines to slide guitar and old fashioned guitarsolos, it has an exceptionally entertaining centre part, followed by a few less interesting minutes and ends after a gigantic apotheosis in a lonely echo chamber. A remarkable song and in a way a good summary of the album, that could have been stronger had it not been so diverse. Nevertheless this is a commendable album that will certainly be loved by fans of bands such as Kadavar and Kamchatka.