Tom Morgan – Orange Syringe – CD
The album showcases Morgan’s skills as a master storyteller and lyricist, delving in to complex and personal subject matter, while never forsaking the hooks, leaving the songs swathed in melodic hues and moods ranging from the bright to the very, very dark.
The man who wrote iconic songs like “It’s A Shame About Ray” and “Outdoor Type” delivers line after line of tongue-in-cheek genius, with darkly funny twists like “the outcome is bleak, the second time in a week” and “I’m not broke, I’m just not working” along with casual flirtations, winking as he delivers “this beauty before me, she’s a bit of alright” and smiling through his days of holding back on the bus fare when a pretty girl sleeps over and remembering his full family history while picking up the bottle of wine for dinner at his mother’s.
Tom Morgan has played in a plethora of bands, including Smudge, Sneeze and currently Bambino Koresh. Smudge were a tremendous ‘slacker pop’ trio who he formed in 1991 with drummer Alison Galloway (immortalized in The Lemonheads “Alison is Starting to Happen”). They quickly became known for Morgan’s melodic, mini-pop masterpieces with his colourful lyrics and the band’s low-fi approach to recording, releasing three albums (plus a collection of B sides and unreleased covers), a mini-album, a handful of singles, and appearing on several compilation albums. Fire has recently reissued their stellar Real McCoy, Wrong Sinatra and Manilow records.
Long established as one of the finest lyricists of a generation of Aussie tunesmiths, Morgan was brought to wider attention when he paired with Lemonheads frontman Evan Dando for the albums It’s a Shame About Ray and Come on Feel The Lemonheads. With Tom’s lyrical dexterity and ear for a perfect pop song, their meeting bore immediate spoils, inspiring Evan to global acclaim as he began the more ‘pop’ direction of his career. He was so taken with Tom’s tunes that he even covered some of Smudge’s songs, with great commercial success.
Following passing a guitar back and forth with Evan, Tom and Smudge continued in various guises before finally splitting in 1999, only to get together a few years later to play periodic shows. A prolific writer, he has been continuously working and creating, and is finally ready with a proper solo album, seeing him recording with his wife Leticia in Bambino Koresh and producing some of the very best work of his career. It is clearly time to sit up and take notice of the pop songwriting masterclass that is “Orange Syringe”, where finally Tom Morgan can take centre stage and receive the recognition he deserves.