Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
WorldService Project — Serve
(RareNoise RNR093, 2018, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2018-08-11
WorldService Project’s follow-up to the outstanding For King and Country is called Serve, and it serves (ahem!) up another set of great tunes. No real changes are in evidence, nor are any needed. It’s like the band is a machine that Dave Morecroft feeds musical ideas into, turns the crank, and out comes something wonderful. Exactly how the machine works is a mystery, but some of the parts can be deduced by examining the output. Kick-ass drumming from Harry Pope is an important piece. His thunderous toms drive the music as if it’s running from a ravenous tiger in hot pursuit. Arthur O’Hara’s bass anchors the tunes with heavy funk that threatens to inspire involuntary devil-horn hand signs. Morecroft himself provides keyboards, but you’ll hear no clean, precise, jazzy licks here. His electric piano growls and crunches, reinforcing the riff or injecting chaos in turns. Saxophone (Tim Ower) soars and squeals and cajoles, sometimes trying to convince us that we’re listening to jazz and other times dashing those expectations by roaring like a punk guitar. Raphael Clarkson provides a similar service with his trombone, defying expectations about what kind of context a trombone should find itself in and how it should sound. Then there’s the wild card of Morecroft’s vocals. Ranting in various languages, screaming, or wordlessly doubling a melody, you never know what to expect. There also seems to be a kind of randomness generator built in, causing the music to make unexpected detours, like abruptly cutting off a grooving riff for a couple of minutes of free-form, floating improvisation or indulging in a Primus-like story about a weird clown. This is a complex and well-oiled machine, and as far as I can tell, it produces no pollution or undesirable by-products, just 100% satisfying music.
Related artist(s): WorldService Project
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