When did all the Deadheads arrive? You see them outside and in bars with their tie-dye, paisley, caps and shorts. Did they ever leave? Is it 1972? Were they just too stoned to go out? Anyhow, on ‘Phase Zero’ Morgan Delt is serving the casually psychedelic – from Topanga Valley to Timplerley – with an album that pulls back from the more frantic approach of his previous offering. I’m not sure if that’s for the best as the album fails to systematically hold your attention but, at the same time, it never grates and some moments are really nicely sculpted.

Album opener ‘I Don’t Wanna See What’s Going On Outside’ is worth your attention – it’s particularly arresting live. It has a guitar line that resembles The Durutti Column’s ‘Otis’ warped into something even warmer, more gentle than the original. Then ‘Sun Powers,’ another solid track, is a kind of post-British Invasion West Coast thing. They’d have loved it in the Fillmore East in 1969, I suspect.

The rest of the album does tend to meander though and has less of the electronic textures and immediate gratification. The intricacies from his previous efforts have not been lost altogether mind, and it might be the case that ‘Phase Zero’ is an album that grows on you over time and a number of listens. Nonetheless, the sincerely stoned dude-ness that pervades this album doesn’t satiate in the way Delt’s music has previously.


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