Album art courtesy of Reverend Morley

Local Review: Reverend Morley – The Kirby Project

Local Music Reviews

Reverend Morley
The Kirby Project
Voodoo Dog Records
Street: 07.05
Reverend Morley = Nine Inch Nails + (Flogging Molly x Rob Zombie) 

The Kirby Project executes an unsettling vision with defiant rock. Reverend Morley’s aggressive instrumentation and vocals blend a raucous brio with experimental flair. 

“Fear” opens the album and instills its experimental nature. The song feels like a descent, using repeating piano scales to build an anxious tone piece. It’s unexpected and winding, and though it’s musically unrepresentative of the full album, it sets the stage and gives the listener a foothold to appreciate the place that the rest of the tracks will inhabit.

The Kirby Project orchestrates the flow of its energy up and down, up and down. The second track, “Hate Has a Place,” leads the album into its high-energy habitat—which, when it goes there, is a sort of rollicking, folky rock. The track has a Flogging Molly aggression to it, which feels representative of the album’s overall attitude even when individual tracks slow down or become softer, perforating the dissident rock with the fear of the opening track. For instance, the following song “You Have Been on my Mind Lately” re-employs the anxious piano scale technique from “Fear” to slow down and punch the unease through. 

“What If” opens with a good-time guitar lick, and then “Come Down From There” has a slower, Nine Inch Nails sense of drama, with Reznor-esque vocals and a disconcerting pace that again revisits the anxiety from the opening track. According to the album’s press release, the song “uses the sound of a man unsuccessfully jumping over a balcony into a swimming pool as the main concussion/percussion.” While I wouldn’t have guessed that, I believe it. The sound is distinctive and disturbing. “Anonymouses” follows and picks the energy back up, and the cycle of energy repeats. Up and down, up and down. 

The Kirby Project is an earworm that grew on me quickly, and it’s one of my new favorites for when I need to channel my energy into productive self-sabotage. –Parker Scott Mortensen

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