Formed in London in January 2011, Irish duo Greg Marshall and Darren Morrissey now step out of the shadows with debut release, ‘And So It Began.’ Proclaiming their music as folk & roll, GoldenPlec throws an inquisitive ear over the duo’s uplifting Irish pop to see what, if anything, the fuss is all about.

The album opens with title track, And So It Began. As if plucked from the middle of last century, a Beatles-esque ragged guitar drunkenly solos before the strong, clear and sobering vocals finally take the reigns. Having seen Morrissey & Marshall live before, this reviewer was keen to see how the duo’s vocals sound in copy. And while very beautiful and flowing, it lacks in aggression and bite, although it makes up for it with its tidy pop attempt. Without a band around them, Morrissey and Marshall have formed a musical marriage that matches well.

Pack Up Lady is about their move from Dublin to London a few years back. It’s quick to illustrate the singing ability of the two men, albeit with lyrics that are uninventive at times; with “la’s” being the echoed word of choice. We transgress further through the album; fading, only to find the odd moment of qualified interest. While the songwriting cannot be undermined for it’s detail; it’s simply the lack of defined grit which many acts of this nature have held in the past, that ultimately lets them down.

The duo’s first single from the album, I’ve Got A Plan, is the most accomplished track overall, aside from album finisher High And Low – which finds both Morrissey and Marshall at ease with the slower, subdued pace. It’s remarkable however, that two voices can compliment one another so tastefully, and yet feel underwhelming and practised. It’s this overriding sense of rehearsal which creates a non-attachment towards the narrative of this record. In parts, their voices rub shoulders with great duo vocalists of the past, yet for some reason the story doesn’t quite crossover.

Aside from the album, Morrissey and Marshall have been touring across the UK and Ireland,  garnering a loyal following – clearly the live shows have the right energy. The accurate  harmonies draw comparisons with Simon and Garfunkel and Irish duo, Hudson-Taylor. Yet ‘And So It Began’ falls short in originality and passion.

We interviewed Morrissey & Marshall back in March, which you can check out here