Morglbl: Grotesk

Upon first listen, it’s fairly easy to dismiss Mörglbl as another small group of talented but otherwise uninspired instrumental jammers that extend into jazz, funk and rock, who are solely looking to create structures easy to solo over, and do a so-so job of it. But by the time “L’ami Deglingo,” the second cut on Grötesk, kicks in, any such sourpuss prediction for this oddball Francophilic three-piece would be out of line.

It’s not to say that some of the things Mörglbl do here seem somewhat run-of-themill for such obvious Zappa worshippers—the soft jazz underpinnings of “Le Projet Pied De Biche” or “Les Petite Nous” come off as cheesy despite the obvious tact for the form, for instance— these guys possess a rather strong ability for instrumental arrangement.

Guitarist Christophe Godin has a particular talent for harmonic development with bassist Ivan Rougny, and the two display some incredible competence for solos that aren’t technical gratia technical, but rather stirring lines. Drummer Jean Pierre Frelezeau, while rarely taking the spotlight away from Godin and Rougny, is cleverly understated (see the drum march in “The Toy Maker”) throughout.

There’s, of course, a strong tongue-incheekiness that pervades the material, something that comes through right from the cover ar t, album title, band name, etc., but the nonsense only adds to the fun of Grötesk, which is something that has to be listened to in the same frame of mind it was created.

In A Word: Silly