Mark Morriss

A Flash of Darkness sees former Bluetones mainstay and lead singer Mark Morriss on this wonderful solo outing.

Opening with the title track is an intro that wouldn’t be out of place in a Spaghetti Western soundtrack and the song features Mark’s trademark dulcet tones. The lyrics are clear and audible with some unfussy percussion and a wide use of instrumentation. The song itself is very personal which is a feature more than once on this LP. “Consuela” comes across as a bittersweet tale of love and loss; autobiographical perhaps, but probably fiction! It has that all too familiar Bluetones sound which we all loved back in the day-a real standout track. “Guilty Again” is easier on the ear by comparison, until it “wakes up” somewhat midsong which doesn’t disappoint. A tongue in cheek ode to one’s guilt maybe? “It’s Hard To Be Good All The Time” uses that “film score” feature once again with the intro. More of the personal comes out in this song and the “old school music hall” piano edit in the middle is great.

Mark Morriss

The first cover on here is The Shins “Pink Bullets”. I feel Mark gives it a good overhaul, making it more uptempo and “Summery”. It’s clearly not lost among these originals. “Low Company” has a Post/Indie feel to it as the song slowly builds. There’s some great chord changes within, accompanying the simple drums-another standout song here. “Life Without F(r)iction” is the most uptempo song here which nods at former glories and wouldn’t be out of place on current radio playlists. Once again those heartfelt lyrics come pouring out. ‘This is the Lie (and that’s the Truth) has a real 60’s feel to it and quite a contrast to the rest of the songs here. Lyrically it wont win any awards but it’s humourous nonetheless. “Space Cadet” keeps that Bluetones sound once again. The guitars are great while the vocals are clear and simple, even if the lyrics have a touch of the imaginary! The other cover on here is Kavinsky’s “Night Call”. It’s a complete contrast to the original but once again Mark puts his indelible stamp on it. “Sleep Song” ends the LP almost as it starts with his dulcet tones and once more some great chords. The multi layered elements really make this song the belter that it is-the perfect finale! If we were ever in doubt what Mark Morriss had left in the tank then these songs will quieten any doubters. This is an accomplished collection of songs that get better every listen.

A Flash Of Darkness
Guilty Again
It’s Hard To Be Good All The Time
Pink Bullets (Shins cover)
Low Company
Life Without F(r)iction
This Is The Lie (And That’s The Truth
Space Cadet
Night Call (Kavinsky cover)
Sleep Song

Album released on 24th Feburary by Acid Jazz Rcords


Words By Ross A Ferrone.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to MySpace