The Austin Chronicle

Texas Platters

Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, April 5, 2013, Music

Gurf Morlix

Finds the Present Tense (Rootball)

In the last couple years, Gurf Morlix cut an entire disc of songs written by his friend Blaze Foley and produced Ray Wylie Hubbard's The Grifter's Hymnal. The local guitarist's first album of new material in four years, Finds the Present Tense spans the styles of those co-conspirators with results both hypnotic and provocative. Marrying Foley's brittle poetry to Hubbard's muddy grooves, Morlix creates a sense of foreboding far removed from any singer-songwriter platitudes. He tackles social problems with scorched honesty, "Bang Bang Bang" offering a tongue firmly in cheek while riffing on the nation's gun problem. He gets into the desperate mind of someone on death row with the bleak "My Life's Been Taken." Guest turns come from locals Ian McLagan and Eliza Gilkyson, but Morlix's songs are the stars here – 10 dirt-encrusted jewels that serve as a master's course in songwriting.


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