Who says you need a guitar strap holding your guitar up to rock out? Apparently no one told Johnnie Wang Morlock, guitarist and lead vocalist for alternative rock band All Forces. I was invited out to Rockwood last week to check out the band as they had a show celebrating the release of their EP, “Sons of Daughters”. After briefly meeting some of the members I quickly secured a good seat in the venue’s intimate upper balcony section overlooking the stage. As soon as the four-piece band started into their set, it was quickly made clear this group had a very simple, yet effective formula – two guys, two girls, and one attractive original sound.
Similar to the 90s alternative sound that is beginning to re-emerge in the NYC music scene, the band takes that simple approach to their music with two guitars, a bass holding down the low end, and drumming that keeps a rhythmic beat to bring each song to life. Their songwriting could be best described as a mix between The Smiths and maybe a toned down version of Queens of the Stone Age? I’m Ron Burgundy? Morlocked shared his vocal responsibilities throughout the night with drummer T Almy, who brought her own goods to the table with talented drumming ability and vocals similar to Alanis Morissette. She even rocks to babe factor that Alanis once carried herself many moons ago.
The band’s 9-song set included tracks off the new EP like ‘Buildings’, ‘Ornithologist’, ‘We Have Arrived’, and ‘Sword Swallowers’. My favorite of the night was ‘Buildings’, as it showcased both Almys and Morlocks fantastic duet chemistry to go along with the great guitar tone in the song. In reality it sounds like the kind of songs that should be featured in an episode of Pete & Pete. Does is get more complimentary than that? I should think not, but what do I know I’m just a dictionary salesman.
As mentioned above, at one point while Morlock was caught up in the moment of the set, his strap became unhinged forcing him to play while struggling to hold his guitar up. No worried of course, as part of being a great rock and roller isn’t necessarily believing that the show must go on, but rather just saying fuck it, let’s rock.
Article by Tom Shackleford