Album Reviews

Praise for The Epileptic Volume 1

"While I can appreciate lengthy numbers, it’s difficult to peg Morison as a complete f$#*ing madman or a crafty genius. One can understand why it took 2 years and 34 musicians to finish."

- GhettoBlaster Magazine

 

"To say The History of Gunpowder is impressive would probably be an understatement. The power the band delivers is immense and as we head into 2020 I’m inclined to say The History of Gunpowder is derivative only unto itself."
--GhettoBlaster Magazine

"…Gunpowder delves into the Blues as well but it’s more with a rocking enthusiasm they share with other groups like England’s The Heavy. This is by no way or form a comparison, but the ability to move a crowd differently, with a blues base and rock’s heaviness for an unadulterated good time!"

- GhettoBlaster Magazine

"For the most part, the album does shatter sound barriers with psycho freakouts, but Morison is at the helm controlling it all with concise precision"

- GhettoBlaster Magazine

 

"But the band’s obvious love for Tom Waits can’t be denied, although Morison holds up well stacked against Waits. He has something to prove here, and he lets loose like a demon-possessed. Strings and horns create beautiful melodies that are sometimes darkly hued and then make a 180-degree turn. The band juxtaposes its timbres well. The stadium-sized delivery here cannot be contained."

- GhettoBlaster Magazine

Praise for

Stained Glass, Rye and Wax

"For an album that was written in India and recorded between Kerala, Vancouver, and Montreal, Stained Glass, Rye, and Wax feels precise, consistent, and succinct. The band and recording crew brought their A-game in every sense, delivering one of the most exciting records of the year and in the process reminding us that there’s still a bit of fire in our bellies, if we can be bothered to look for it."

      - John Julius, Beatroute Magazine, Graphite Publications


 

"Frontman Alex Morison’s voice has become something both horrifying and enthralling. For a man under fifty to have beaten his throat into such a state inspires strong awe, mild concern, and just a hint of jealousy – his suffering voice conveys disdain brilliantly. The images he breathes carry connotations of misery, vice, trickery, and guilt posing as aggression; the images he breathes very nearly fit the “whiskey band” stereotype but betray a deeper poeticism, inspired by all the writers you claim to love but secretly find impenetrable. After years of depreciating in traditional beauty and appreciating in aesthetic roughness, he has finally hit the point of no return and it is truly glorious."

      - John Julius, Beatroute Magazine, Graphite Publications


 

8.7/10 - "Circus rock- if acrobats needed a soundtrack as they theatrically hurried up ladders and glided through the air, I’d say Stained Glass, Rye and Wax would be a great place to start. The History of Gunpowder rises from Montreal with music that could travel both on a modern stealth bomber or in a horse-drawn carriage…to create something I’ve yet to hear until now.”

      - Dave Tone, Bucketlist Reviews

 

"The music on Stained Glass, Rye and Wax... tends to create a cacophony of sound. Yet, from the mayhem, Morison has somehow managed to force a structure on the noise, resulting in music that pushes the boundaries of genre and musical composition."

      - Samantha Stevens, The Voice Magazine


 

"There may be a conventional rock-blues number at the heart of “The Ostrich” but it is wrapped up tight in a very peculiar package of jazz, funk, and odd noises."

      - Mark Anthony Brennan, Ride the Tempo

Live Reviews

Voted #6 in the TOP 10 BEST BANDS IN MONTREAL category 

in Cult Magazine

"This is a band with a reputation for explosive psychedelia and freaky theatrics, but while there were no surprise drop-ins from burlesque artists at this particular gig, guitarist and vocalist Alex James Morison brought plenty of thunder with his own strings, howls, and showmanship. With the throat of Nick Cave and the wardrobe of a zoot suit scarecrow, Morison stalks the stage like he’s possessed by his guitar, wandering feverishly through the many twists and turns of songs like the dynamic highlight and set-closer 'Buenos Aires'."

      - Dan Corber, Montreal Rocks, June

"the whole experience felt like more of a late-night party than a performance. That seems perfectly appropriate for a band that looks like they have as much fun playing with each other as they do playing for the people. The same goes twice as much for an audience that came to have a good time and got a chance to play with fire."

      - Dan Corber, Montreal Rocks, June

 

"I spent the evening at Divan Orange listening to quite the articulate, tight, and dynamic performance. Their energy did not waiver as the band moved as a solid unit through their music, making for a perfect balance between technical skill and creativity."

      - Mila Ghorayeb, Graphite Publications

"The members of The History of Gunpowder aren’t afraid to take risks. Not only is their music a mix of swamp pirate blues and growling vocals, but they have an ostrich as their mascot."

      - The Concordian

"The History of Gunpowder’s setup also features some searing fiddlework. And bird puppets. And also burlesque dancing. It’s all part of frontman Alex James Morison’s apparent mission to craft an experience for showgoers like no other, putting everything he has in him up on the stage before burning it all down."

      - Dan Corber, Montreal Rocks, January

"Using a throat that would make Tom Waits and Nick Cave jealous, Morison kicked off the show with a stomp-and-howl number that made me scribble two words in a notebook: “holy shit”. A 6-piece lineup featuring drums, guitar, fiddle, synth, and upright bass, The History of Gunpowder plays a genre of music that might be described as “roots-rock”, but only if those roots reach down into Hell. Face-melting and head-banging, Gunpowder’s controlled chaos hypnotizes crowds into a sludgy dancing fever, like a hoedown at the Apocalypse."    

      - Dan Corber, Montreal Rocks, January