Culled from the same sessions that birthed the Lavender Blues EP in 2020, Big Scenic Nowhere’s second full-length expands the supergroup’s jammed out take on Desert Rock. However, The Long Morrow (Heavy Psych Sounds) sets itself apart from Vision Beyond Horizon by means of a more grounded approach. There aren’t as many songs as before and the album is about ten minutes shorter than its predecessor overall. The guest list also isn’t as loaded this time around, only featuring keyboardist Per Wilberg and The Cure/David Bowie guitarist Reeves Gabrels on the colossal title track.
Fortunately, what could’ve been a letdown ends up being one of the album’s biggest strengths. The Long Morrow is a rather uniform listen compared to the last album’s more off-the-wall nature as the individual tracks often feel like segments of a greater whole. The dynamics may fluctuate with each song but there’s a loose flow that makes for an easygoing experience. I can get into the almost Soundgarden-esque swagger on ‘Murder Klipp’ and the calming psychedelia that comes halfway in has an even more ethereal effect on ‘Lavender Bleu.’ The title track is an inevitable standout with its twenty-minute runtime, largely revolving around fluid modifications of a meandering desert-friendly jam.
This attitude also reflects in the musicianship as the dynamic is loose and the playing is colorful without getting too self-indulgent. The rhythms are rock solid with the prominent bass often providing the most weight as the guitars generally waft off into abstract textures supplemented by gorgeous synth work. As much as I miss the multi-vocalist format that came with the last album, multi-instrumentalist Tony Reed does an excellent job of giving the somewhat sparser lines a little extra character with his robust howl.
While The Long Morrow has Big Scenic Nowhere offering their usual experimental desert jams, I appreciate how each release comes at the template at from a different angle. As much as I enjoyed the different vocalists and more varied style on Vision Beyond Horizon, this more unified style works just as well in its cohesion. It’s a good album to put on just to have wash over you and the extra focus on Reed’s vocals could make it of extra interest to Mos Generator fans. Here’s hoping that future collaborations can keep this spirit of fun going.
Buy the album here: https://bigscenicnowhere.bandcamp.com/album/the-long-morrow-digital
8 / 10