This 2020 album finds Jeremy Morris yet again full in power pop mode but before I get into the album itself I must mention the artwork by Gretchen Ellen Powers which continues through the inlay. There we see the cat on the roof of an old car with his guitar, listening to the fox sing and the rabbit playing harmonica with the owl toasting marshmallows: there is a story there somewhere as it is delightful imagery. Jeremy provides the vocals and the vast majority of the music, along with support from the likes of Todd Borsch of the Ringles and Jamie Hoover (the Spongetones). There are 25 songs contained in this set, 15 of which are originals plus 10 covers, and Jeremy kindly puts who originally recorded the songs so there is no scratching of heads attempting to remember who did what. Of course, his own material more than stands up against the originals, not all of which are known to me, so if he hadn’t said I would not have known.
Jeremy has always been heavily influenced by The Byrds and there is no surprise to find one of their numbers here, “So You Want To Be A Rock and Roll Star”, although I must confess I always associate that song with Nazareth and their monster take on ‘Snaz’. One cover which really surprised me when it started was “Pictures of Matchstick Men” as I did not realise it had made its way to the other side of the Atlantic. I have always thought early Quo has been forgotten by many considering the bombast of the majority of their career, but I always enjoyed the late Sixties band and they released a lot of great material. We also get The Beatles, Norman Greenbaum, Rick Springfield and others, but unless you already know the covers you will not be able to pick it out, such is the quality of Jeremy’s own material.
It is hard to pick a standout, but special mention should be made of “Devil Next Door,” which contains some lovely late 60’s influences to stay on the psychedelic side of garage and is so much fun. Yet again Jeremy Morris has pulled out all the stops to release something which is a great listen from beginning to end, and if you ever wondered where would be a good place to start investigating his vast canon then this is it. 8/10 Kev Rowland