Does humour belong in music? French power trio Mörglbl certainly think so.
Accordingly, they’ve peppered an otherwise instrumental album with fleeting comedy routines complete with wacky voices, skewed, screwy sound collages and a couple of quick-fire musical puns. But one person’s belly laugh is another’s meh, and while some of these comedic interventions raise a smirk first time around, after repeated plays, the skits had this listener reaching for the skip button. That’s not to say there aren’t some decent nuggets here. Christophe Godin’s guitar does the heavy lifting, expertly brandishing starkly brutal metal riffs and showy, Holdsworth-style elasticity in solos that positively cartwheel up and down the entire length of the fretboard. With precision-guided support from Ivan Rougny (bass) and Aurelian Ouzoulias (drums), Mörglbl’s take on the self-imposed limitations of the time-honoured guitar/bass/drums format describes a hybrid of armour-clad jazz-rock with a take-no-prisoners thrashy bravado and bluster. This can be bracing and engaging, but as good as some of it is, combined with the jokes, it’s undercut by a fragmentary, uneven feel.