Morex Optimo
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Morex Optimo

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Band Alternative Rock

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Babysue.com Editor's Pick for Beast of Reflection"

This is a case where the name the band. Imagine
mixing Henry Cow, John Vanderslice, David Bowie, and Captain
Beefheart (?!?)...and you might begin to have a slight idea of what the band sounds like. Art rockers in the coolest sense of the word, these folks are playing music that truly does not sound like anyone else out there. Many bands could make the claim that their music is unique and different... but how many of those bands actually record music that is credible? Songs are what make the difference...and there are plenty of absolutely killer tunes to be found on Beast of Reflection. The folks in this band use jagged arrangements and peculiar
instrumental phrasings to flesh out their songs. The vocals are slightly subdued and indifferent... yet they fit the music perfectly. Some musical segments are sparse and nervous... while others are rather thick, dark, and intense. Obtuse and peculiar...this is an album for thinking listeners. Cool and curious cuts include "Burkina Faso," "The Exactly Commensurate Abattoir," "Kosmonaut," "Exhaust," and "Wild Over." Great stuff. (Rating: 5+) - Babysue.com


"Beast of Reflection review: Editor's Pick"

Morex Optimo from their psychedelic side have transcended traditional rock music for a cornucopia of fused influences that tinkle about the bizarre and avant garde without seeking to be labeled. Wildly creative, “Beast of Reflection” is indeed a mirror into the soul of the listener—will they be transfixed or will they shift away straying towards something perhaps more approachable and less dynamic? The answer is probably the odds of a guess at a true-and-false question, you’re assured of reaching an almost-majority but not isolating a majority either. What’s nice is this isn’t something you have to “get” but rather experience. After all they seemed to have captured David Bowie in his splendid ‘70s glam to bottle him up, shake it about, and spit forth a hegemony that will exist within the intelligent music world. Excellent indie rock with all the spicy flavors of intelligent conversation. - smother.net


"Review of Beast of Reflection"

Foxes and Crows are agents; they observe changes in the world and perform their own changes on the world. But Cheese is passive. Extreme Behaviorists would beg to differ, though they wouldn't have any problem distinguishing Morex Optimo from cheese; this project by Western Mass. native Heather Wagner is a wild and brainy rush and provides a refreshing change of pace from the quotidian. Listen: feel yourself beginning to take a psychic holiday from the get-go; "Burkino Faso, Kung Fu" sets the tone---it's like a cross between XTC inventive dissonance and B-52s style crazed tomfoolery. The vocalizations are inspired and some truly intricate jazz-level guitar bass and percussion parts render this musical project a decided cut above. Fans of Beefheart and Baby Ray will find a good deal to like here. The sweeping "Kosmonaut" has the sort of epic sound some would call ponderous but devotees of Savage Republic and the like will lap it up. This is possibly too esoteric for some benighted tastes, but who cares about THOSE shitheads? As per Harvey Pekar, average is the new dumb. And the undumb and discerning will vastly appreciate these musical stylings, which are themselves a type of ingenious calculus of contrariwise. (Francis DiMenno) - The Noise, Boston


"(review by Billy Donald, Rock Interview Index and Music Dish Magazine)"

Cleanly birthed and packaged in 1999, Brooklyn, NY's Morex Optimo offers a surprisingly fresh perspective of musical textures and melodies wrapped into a nice series of 3-4 minute short stories set to a twisted pastiche of rapidly changing time signatures, and sometimes dissonant key changes accompanied with dandy little limericks about such things as Kosmonauts and Long Jack Mackinac.

But please think not of them as silly troubadours that concocted all of their lyrics in a drunken haze at the local watering hole. Beneath the layer of well harmonized vocals of bassmeister Yuri Weber and guitarist Kristofer Widholm lies some serious musicianship via Widholm's clean surfish guitar, Weber's thumping bass, and the slick, syncopated drumming of Heather Wagner.

For a good example, check the quirky Big Tongued Man which is in a hopping little signature of 7/4. Heather's solid drumming anchors things down for Yuri to play a great descending bass line while Widholm's guitar conjures thoughts of a distant cousin of beach favorites such as Pipeline and Misirlou.

Reginald Bach The Compleat is another fine example of a well-crafted tune musically, and again, the harmonies do impress.

Long Jack Mackinac is a fun little tune complete with a little pickin' and grinnin' by Widholm and lyrics and vocalizations that seemed to have come straight from Les Claypool, but the music punches you in the gut with a solid 4/4 when you least expect it during the choruses and bridges. Check again the way Wagner's drumming seamlessly zips through each twist of the song. The girl can rock!

It would be easy for a lot of people to write off Morex Optimo as 'dork rock' or 'college rock'. Trust me, the fine folks of Morex Optimo don't take themselves too seriously, and they let the music breathe and have fun with it, but there is too much talent within the band to call them college rock. College rock would be a bunch of putz's in ballcaps and Fudpucker's shirts trying to slur their way into their best Dave Matthews impersonation. Morex Optimo not only cuts their own path, it's possible that they may smoke the trimmings they leave behind. It's the most fun you will ever have with a trio of dorks.
–Billy Donald - Music Dish Magazine


Discography

"Beast of Reflection", full-length album released December 2004. Available from Broken Hill Music and morexoptimo.com.

3-song demo, 2001. "Exactly Commensurate Abattoir" featured regularly on Radio Crystal Blue internet station

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Two former enemies (a tortured and severe Swedish theologian, and a California dreamer) and a sparkling drummer (a rough and tumble smart aleck artist and Jersey girl) mix their muscular conflicts and bawdy tenderness together in their Williamsburg, Brooklyn, studio to produce some of the most electric and unpredictable rock music in the New York scene.

The intricate melodies, odd time signatures, tight harmonies, and cryptic lyrics that result are at once complex and beautifully sparse; a heady interplay of tense guitar, fluid basslines and inventive drumming sparked by the sheer joy of performance makes Morex Optimo's inventive shows a favorite in both art spaces and rock clubs.

Live concerts are impulsive, intense explosions of cerebral and gutsy rock and roll. Shows feature the band in formal wear, an abundance of fake flowers spilling across the stage and a refreshingly sincere earnestness that is as genuine as the flowers are fake. They have played at such New York venues as The Knitting Factory, Galapagos Art Space, Pianos, Location One, PS122, Rothko, and Southpaw.

Morex Optimo's debut album Beast Of Reflection was recorded with industry veteran Martin Bisi at BC Studios and Morex Optimo is now playing in support of the album.

Morex Optimo wish it were true that the name came from an obscure artwork by Duchamp, a failed 19th century gynecological instrument, hypnosis device, or even a type of high-end cigar; alas it is not, though it is recommended that these concepts are held in mind when listening to the music. The closest approximation is a malformed Latin phrase for "highest morals". Other suggestions are encouraged.

Kristofer Widholm (vocals, guitar): Started singing at age six on his walks with his dogs and in church. He has also recorded and toured under the name Pharmacy and Gardens.

Heather Wagner (drums, vocals): Heather has pounded out rock-solid beats for American Pistil, Megababe, The Big Sleep, Suran Song in Stag, Maryann Pillsbury, and can be heard (with rock band THIS) on the soundtrack of the Cinevue International Film Competition award-winning film "Flights," directed by Robert Herzog.

Yuri Weber (bass, vocals): Founding guitarist of San Francisco's conceptual movie-rock band The Billy Nayer Show, Yuri starred in the punk epic "The Ketchup and Mustard Man," and has played in UPC, Starfish, The Haints, and The Gregonovic Family Singers. A truly multifaceted musician, he has played with everyone from East Bay Ray of the Dead Kennedys to famed jazz drummer Kenny Wolleson.

Influences: Kurt Weill, Television, Spike Jones, Yo La Tengo, The Beach Boys, Tom Waits, Captain Beefheart, Mission of Burma, Alfred Jarry.