Following in the tradition of other renegade composers Dave Morecroft seeks a spot in the musical firmament that is decidedly left of centre. On For King & Country, the group’s RareNoise debut and third release overall, the powerhouse aggregation cuts across stylistic boundaries with impunity and a decided »punk-jazz« attitude. From the prog-rockish tumult of the opener »Flick the Beanstalk« to the moody closer »Requiem for a Worm«, Worldservice Project carries a pronounced crunch while injecting daring improvisations and myriad punk-jazz expressions into the mix.
Joining Morecroft here are tenor sax burner Tim Ower, trombonist Raphael Clarkson, bassist Arthur O’Hara and drummer Harry Pope. The slamming odd- metered piece »Fuming Duck«, for instance, is indeed an epic listen. Underscored by O’Hara’s fuzz bass lines melding with Clarkson’s electric trombone for an uncommonly heavy bottom end, it hits as hard as King Crimson’s »Red« while suggesting something far jazzier. Likewise, »Murano Faro« slowly builds from something dreamy and distant to a throbbing crescendo with Clarkson’s trombone wailing over the top in half-time.
»Son of Haugesund« is a blast of intensity to match anything on Led Zeppelin III while the frantic, tempo-shifting »Go Down Ho’Ses« carries the zany energy of a ska band conducted by Frank Zappa. Ower’s passionate sax solos on this unhinged number and on the dramatic »Chamonix« are both exceptional. And on »Mr. Giggles«, at once humorous and scary, Morecroft unveils the cartoonish vocals of the title character (a sinister clown alter ego that he introduced on Fire In A Pet Shop) against a clamorous undercurrent.
The closer, »Requiem for a Worm« opens on a restful, introspective note with Ower blowing breathy tones against a gentle backdrop. Midway through, the mood shifts as the piece gradually builds to a slamming, fuzz-laden crescendo of epic proportions.