Why did it take me so long to review this album? Well I was too busy enjoying it, that’s why.
The Morning Benders have taken a new approach on their sophomore record, Big Echo (+1/Roughtrade). With producer and Grizzly Bear cohort Chris Taylor in tow, the band went into the studio last year to record an album that has finally launched their career into the spotlight.
While their first record Talking Through Tin Cans (+1) brought out the sweet, sugary, indie pop side of the band, this time they are headed in a different direction. This is indeed four guys who have grown up drastically since the last time they went into the studio. The songs show a more mature side of the group and it seems natural and effortless.
The album opens up with the first two singles, “Excuses,” and “Promises.” Both are only the beginning of what is to come on this record. If you were lucky enough to catch singer Chris Chu’s solo performance at CMJ 2009, you were able to see some of these songs including a special teenaged filled background vocal performance of “Excuses.”
“Wet Cement,” brings a bit of the first record in with it. It’s a very mellow and adorable song to say the least. One thing that stands out even more on this album is Chu’s voice. It is dreamy, smooth and flawless. This is more often than not hard to find these days. It’s as if his voice has the capability to bring you back into the 60’s. One of my personal favorite tunes on the record is “Cold War (Nice Clean Fight),” which clocks in under the two minute mark. This is a stomp your feet, clap your hands along song with it’s infectious beat.
“Pleasure Sighs,” “Hand Me Downs,” and “Mason Jar,” bring out a more experimental sound in the band. A little pyschadelic if you will, which the band has never really hit on before. Though somehow it fits and they manage to pull it off. You can really see Taylor’s influence in these songs.
“All Day Day Light,” contains a bit of an 80’s meets 60’s vibe to it. Take that for a leap of decades, right? It flows perfectly and trust me, it will not be leaving your head anytime soon. This is one to put on repeat. The album ends with the breezy “Stitches,” and “Sleeping In,” which appears to draw influences from the Beach Boys in the most flattering way.
Big Echo has launched The Morning Benders from small time indie band to full time buzz band. There is bound to be a lot more where that comes from so be on the lookout. If you haven’t checked out this record yet, do not hesitate. It has the makings to be an indie classic.