Morgan DeliStomp Records
By Cole Faulkner
Montreal cowpunks Morgan proudly release their latest full length, Morgan Deli. Wait… what? Morgan Deli? What the heck is a Morgan Deli? Well, let’s have the title track do the talking… “Welcome back to the Morgan Deli, can I take your order?” “Here at the Morgan Deli we’ve got what you need, people come and go, but your soul will never leave.” Oh, so this review has veered into a dialogue, and it’s that kind of deli. In that case, what do you serve at this here fine rural establishment? “Try our new porcupine chilli bean gasoline water,” “here at the Morgan Deli half our staff is blind… a little moonshine liquor helps to ease the mind.”
If you haven’t clued in yet, Morgan Deli’s title track is all about the lifestyle and menu of a backwoods hillbilly deli. It also makes for an absolutely hilarious and engrossing piece of cover art. The song itself comes lathered all shades of boot stompin, upright bass thumping cowpunk, the likes of which can only really be compared to that of a mashup of Old Man Markley infused with pop-punk folksters The Penske File, country trottin psychos The Raygun Cowboys, and the tailgate partying attitude of Puttin On The Foil. And let’s throw in a Bob Wayne comparison while we’re at it.
Morgan features a distinct dual vocal style in which the band commonly pairs an intentional hillbilly accent with a regular chorus of clean pop-punk voices. The musical backdrop is something truly special in its balance of traditional country twang and gruff but poppy punk. Songs like “Kiss This Town Goodbye” keep the album’s pacing steady at an 18 wheeler frenzied charge, while those like “Running For My Life” take on a little honky tonk saloon buzz, complete with bar room piano, comical narrative song structure and a laugh out loud plot twist. On that note, smart but crass humour heavily defines Morgan’s skill set, as per the alternative meat loving “Porcupine” and hobbyist mechanic ditty “Fixing The Chainsaw.”
Cowpunk is a particularly tiny niche in the already limited folk-punk genre, so every new addition is welcomed with open arms – although they’re certainly not all created equal. That being said, Morgan Deli’s off kilter humour and catchy rural attitude clearly frame Morgan as a frontrunner in the country/folk/cow punk scene. There’s never been a better time to step through the doors of the Morgan Deli. Now where’d I put that glass of porcupine chilli bean gasoline water…