Tom Morgan's name should be better known. Formerly in the Australian indie-rock band Smudge, he came to the attention of Evan Dando (Lemonheads) and co-wrote with him many songs on the Lemonheads' excellent albums It's a Shame About Ray and Come On Feel the Lemonheads, among them Big Gay Heart, It's About Time, Bit Part, It's a Shame About Ray and Rick James Style.

That was big indie-pop stuff mostly, but on this - with wife Leticia - he marries some dark lyrics to driving pop or delivers melancholy acoustic songs that drag you into black water.

He opens with a ballad where death and possession of a lover comes with a plastic bag for asphyxiation and, hands bound, chimes through the alt-country rock Best Thing For Baby ("cancel all your plans and turn the TV down"); puts on Lou Reed clothes for the excitingly propulsive pop of Taste For Blood (spot that riff), and reveals his skill with a deftly crafted melody (in the manner of the Lemonheads) on Fatherland and the acoustic warning of Mess with the Bull.

This won't be for everyone, but if he pays a visit he'll be a must-see. A convincing calling-card.


Stars: 3.5/5
Verdict: Smudge/Lemonheads man rattles his chain on a gently gripping solo album

- / TimeOut