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November 21, 2012 10:37 PM   Subscribe

Who can fill the void left by Morphine?

Are there any other bands out there like Morphine? I've listened to all of their albums until the MP3s are dropping bits left and right like an album wearing down its grooves. I miss Mark Sandman's (RIP) voice and the sax-heavy mellow sound that still knew how to rock. What else is out there with a similar sound?

I'm all set with swing, ska and funk as well as Johnny Cash and Leonard Cohen. Any other ideas?
posted by bendy to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
Some Tom Waits has the Saxy feel of Morphine but there is nothing like Mark Sandman's two string slide bass.
posted by munchingzombie at 10:54 PM on November 21, 2012

You might try Ad van Meurs, who records as The Watchman. Here's "Laundry Days" on YouTube from his Peaceful Artillery album, which has a lot of bari sax. Official Site (in Dutch). MySpace.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 11:54 PM on November 21, 2012

Have you checked out proto-Morphine Treat Her Right?
posted by humboldt32 at 12:39 AM on November 22, 2012

You aren't the only one. Treat Her Right is great as mentioned above, but doesn't really solve the problem. Do you know about Sandbox, a 2 disc Mark Sandman box set put out in 2004 that compiles a bunch of his non Morphine stuff? Like this and here's a playlist. I hope other people will have better suggestions for different artists working in the same vein.
posted by smartypantz at 2:16 AM on November 22, 2012

I don't even know what Morphine sound like, but I remember when he died and there was great sadness among my friends. I am asking them, but in the meantime, how about bits of Afghan Whigs/Twilight Singers/Mark Lanigan and various people of that ilk?
posted by Mezentian at 3:40 AM on November 22, 2012

A very long shot, but possibly some Lounge Lizards, though its much more jazzy and has no vocals.
posted by googly at 4:23 AM on November 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Not exactly the Morphine background sounds, but I asked a similar question a while back when I was seeking Morphine-like vocals: swoony swagger. I would personally recommend Murder by Death, Richard Hawley, Bill Callahan (or Smog), Tindersticks, the National, and Elbow (especially The Seldom Seen Kid album).
posted by iamkimiam at 4:37 AM on November 22, 2012

There really ain't nothing like em, sadly. Morphine is incredibly unique.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:42 AM on November 22, 2012 [4 favorites]

Not really like Morphine, but check out The Heavy - especially The House That Dirt Built
posted by gnutron at 7:56 AM on November 22, 2012

The National has some stuff that leans in the right direction (though honestly I think their most interesting tracks are the less-rockin' ones).
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:49 AM on November 22, 2012

No one sounds like Morphine, including Morphine most of the time.

*cues up Cure For Pain
posted by Cosine at 8:51 AM on November 22, 2012

Here to suggest the Twinemen, which is named after a comic that Mark Sandman used to draw, and includes Dana Colley and Billy Conway of Morphine, with Laurie Sargent singing.
posted by scolbath at 10:22 AM on November 22, 2012

Just in case you all aren't aware of it, as it hasn't been mentioned here yet ...

Cure for Pain: The Mark Sandman Story
2011, Documentary
Gatling Pictures' "Cure for Pain: The Mark Sandman Story" examines the life and work of Mark Sandman, deceased frontman of Boston "low rock" band Morphine. From his Newton, Mass., roots to his travels across America and around the globe, Sandman left an indelible imprint as one of the most distinctive musicians of his generation. Along with revisiting the "unique and sultry sound" of his music, the film explores the meaning of family through this critically praised and personally conflicted singer, songwriter and innovative instrumentalist.

I saw it a couple weeks ago at a special screening in Atlanta and it was great. It's available on DVD at the last link above.
posted by intermod at 5:50 PM on November 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

My friend suggested another defunct(?) band: Bourbon Princess, but they seem to be a Morphine spin-off, so you may already know of them.
posted by Mezentian at 9:59 PM on November 22, 2012

This might be a stretch in terms of what you're looking for, but how about Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds or Mark Kozelek's bands: Red House Painters and Kil Sun Moon?
posted by oceanview at 10:39 PM on November 22, 2012

I feel your Cure for Pain.

Anyway, I asked my mother, and she suggested Paul Kelly and the Coloured Girls - Dumb Things
Australian, harmonica rather than sax... that track does hit my Morphine button, but, most of the other songs don't really cut it. Also, Nick Cave, and to go more oldschool - Hendrix.

But, yeah, Morphine doesn't sound much like Morphine. Things like Like a Mirror remind me of Portishead and Massive Attack. Other tracks are almost Poe, or Chris Isaac territory.

Finally, I just found 'The Bone' which appears to be a Morphine homage band. No really, drums, sax and 2 string bass. o_0 But it kinda hurts heart a little, because it's so similar, but, a more amateur effort.
However, I may keep listening to tracks like 'To the Bone'. :)
posted by Elysum at 2:20 AM on November 23, 2012

I'm probably completely off-base here, but it seems to me that current South London band Teeth of the Sea sometimes approaches a Morphine "low-rock" baritone aesthetic, although they have no vocals and their horn section is trumpet rather than sax. Some album cuts here and here.
posted by Sonny Jim at 5:19 AM on November 23, 2012

Dusk by The The kinda overlaps with that same mournful sexiness in my opinion.
posted by ian1977 at 10:21 AM on November 23, 2012

Try recoil, portishead, mazzy star, massive attack
posted by gypseefire at 8:43 PM on January 10, 2013

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