The Squirrels

Not-So-Bright Side of the Moon

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After a couple of years of semi-retirement, Morgan was offered the chance to do a project he and longtime friend and bandmate Eric Erickson had contemplated: a complete trashing of the classic rock radio staple Pink Floyd record The Dark Side of the Moon. Erickson had tragically passed on before it could be realized, but with the financial help of a well-heeled Dutch fan Morgan reassembled his core crew -- Kline, Thomas, Hollis the Bug, bassist Kevin Crosby, and keyboardist Tom Morrison -- and went at it with longtime producer Conrad Uno. The result is an insane masterpiece of musical achievement and comedy both, poking so many holes in that particular sacred cow that it's a wonder Roger Waters didn't spontaneously combust. With the help of Morgan's friends Tortelvis and Ed Zeppelin from Dread Zeppelin contributing their versions of the spoken word snippets -- along with the help of Baby Cheevers, returned from the dead again -- everything, literally everything, about the record is tackled. Instead of an opening heartbeat, a rhythmic hiccup from Morgan, which also of course concludes the album. In between? As with any Squirrels record, where does one start and one stop? "Any Colour You Like" and a half-reggae "Time" escape with the least damage, but only just, and nothing else is left standing. "Breathe" is turned into a neo-lounge jam, "Us and Them" becomes a wickedly funny David Bowie parody in both his '80s and '70s mode (topped up with intentionally bad sax from Skerik of Critters Buggin'). "Brain Damage" alternates between slurred high-speed bluegrass and hi-energy disco funk, while the concluding "Eclipse" becomes a very wrong oompah singalong. Then there's "Money," beginning with a markedly different rhythm loop and then transmogrifying into the Motown standard as covered by the Beatles, all with the Floyd's lyrics instead. Two points of high comedy: Morgan replacing the synth loop in "On the Run" after it "breaks" with his own rhythmic gurgling and Kline's vocal standout on "The Great Gig in the Sky." Hearing him take over the song's wordless wailing after a hurried studio discussion because the "girl didn't show up" will slay a listener every time.

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