Album Review: Morrison Reed – Spirit Haus

Spirit Haus is the new album from Sydney, Australia-based psychedelic rock artist Morrison Reed. Against a backdrop of scuzzy, retro rock overtures, Morrison weaves a tale through a unique spoken word style.

By Graeme Smith

Feature photo by Morrison Reed

A long instrumental opening sets the scene of Spirit Haus. Called Chakra Beam, the track is a looping, hypnotic piece of psychedelia that gives a good indication of what is to come from the album and a clear introduction to Morrison’s sound for those who haven’t heard his music before

The story really kicks off, however, with track two HNY. This is a concept album, with each track acting as a chapter in an ongoing story. HNY is the beginning, when a group of young friends ring in the new year with an acid trip. We’re introduced to Morrison’s bass-y spoken word vocals which contrast the track’s lively disco beat.

From there, things escalate. The spooky Hollywood’s In Rehab comes next, bringing the bass and sci-fi synths it presents a world of dark, sinister undertones. The nihilism is a great juxtaposition to the blind optimism of HNY and meanders from disco to rock with a big guitar solo finish.

Oh God, How I Want Ya! remains macabre but is really a love ballad. Morrison’s deadpan vocals are oddly seductive in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way. The track is a moment of calm before the trip continues through the drug-fuelled The Jaguar, funk-infused title track Spirit Haus, and the swaggering eight-minute odyssey of Pool Party.

Having survived their night, the friends end up coming down in Beach Club XXX. It’s a textured ambient piece of social commentary the feels set in the ’70s but also somehow right up to date. It’s a short and sweet final chapter to the tale before the album closes out as it began – with an instrumental. Neptune Radio Transmission is a long percussive piece that tells a story all of its own.

I was impressed with the number of influences on show in Spirit Haus, and with the way that Morrison Reed has made them his own. It’s atmospheric, timeless and, most importantly, tells a good story. It’s great to discover an artist that’s showing this level of innovation and has such a strong voice. I look forward to hearing more from him.

Check out Spirit Haus below.