Morella's Forest
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Dayton Voice

"Candy shop dreams of Morella's Forest ease worldly dismay"

Listening to the local news on the radio the other day, I was dismayed and a little disheartened at how twisted the world has actually become. Some of the juicy news tidbits of the day included a story on an area man who was doused in gasoline and set ablaze, a piece on the police chief's son who was busted in Florida for alleged drug trafficking, and a hot item about Wright State basketball coach Ralph Underhill's arrest for alleged shoplifting.

After that dose of reality, I decided to forgo the radio. I pushed a cassette copy of the new Morella's Forest LP "Ultraphonic Hiss" (Tooth & Nail) into my car's tape deck. I felt better instantly as I found myself falling into the sugary depths of Morella's Fores - a glittery dream world where we can only think happy thoughts. Singer Sydney Rentz is there, her nose pressed against the glass counter in her favorite hangout - the candy shop. She stares at the jars of tangerine drops, lost in a land of pastel straws and silver syrup, searching for her butterscotch boy.

On "Ultraphonic Hiss", Rentz and her cohorts don't spit out vitriol and gen-x angst like so many tired alternative rockers. The subjects broached on the Dayton-based quartet's second LP are more positive and lighthearted than that - witness song titles like "Candy Necklace Kind Of Love", "Lime Velvet Love Seat", and "Butterscotch Boy."

Morella's Forest has foregone the dreamy guitar work and medium tempos that dominated its debut CD. In its place is a more upbeat approach with straight-up rock touches, varied tempos and some flat-out catchy songs. Holding it all together is Rentz's syrupy smooth voice and candy shop dreams. When reality is too much for you, do like I do and take a stroll through the new, improved Morella's Forest. You'll be glad you did.

- Don Thrasher


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