The Morning Benders “Big Echo”

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.

The Morning Benders – “Dreams” (Fleetwood Mac Cover) by modernmysteryblog

The Morning Benders w/ Holiday Shores, The Luyas @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY – 4/24/2010


Excitement was in the air on Saturday night as boys in tailored jackets and girls in summer dresses and leggings flocked to the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn. The second of three sold out shows in one week, and their only non 21+ event, The Morning Benders, and new Brooklyn residents, were ready to take the stage in full force.

Opening the night was the Canadian band, The Luyas. This band the night could have done without. The singer’s voice was not always pleasant sounding, even though I’m certain she was trying to make it sound ‘pretty.’ Nothing amazing stood out about this group, and it was obvious. If they hadn’t played, The Morning Benders could have done a longer set, and that my friends, would have been radtacular. I wouldn’t go out of my way to see this band because, well, they made me sleepy on so many levels.

Next up was Holiday Shores, who were extremely impressive live. The band was missing a few members that night and took on a couple of the guys from Twin Sister for the set. You couldn’t even tell they weren’t part of the band because they were DEAD ON. Originating from Florida (Is it becoming the new Brooklyn, Surfer Blood?), the guys made it up to New York for a one night only set. Nice. The crowd was into it, mouthing the words and dancing around. Things were really getting started.

Around 11pm The Morning Benders finally took the stage. Opening with the spacey number “Stiches,” off of their new record Big Echo (+1 Music/Roughtrade), the audience was howling. “You don’t know me by name,” echoed from singer Chris Chu’s voice. It was at that point chills went down my spine and I knew we were all in for a treat tonight.

The crowd seemed intent on every word, every guitar hum, every cymbal crash that the band had to offer. What we were witnessing is one of the greatest acts to have come out in the past ten years. Their harmonies are reminiscent of early Beach Boys records and even more prominent live than on their records.

“We’re going to play you our new album tonight, Big Echo,” said Chu and fans were noticably ecstatic to be experience nearly every single song.

I’m not sure if I could say there was a ‘standout’ tune of the night, because nearly everything stood out. When it came time to play their second single “Promises,” everyone was singing along. When the band promised us they’d play songs we can dance to, they started it off with “Cold War (Nice Clean Fight)” one of the most incredible and fun songs to hear live.

Throughout the show, only one old song was played, which was a slower version of “Damnit Anna.” No one seemed to mind it though and it fit in perfectly. They also played a new track called “Go Grab a Stranger,” which was amazing beyond words.

It’s amazing to me to see this band that I saw play a Puma Instore two years ago when CMJ took place (and they weren’t part of the festival), completely grown. The store wasn’t even full, and John Norris from MTV was sitting on the floor watching the band. Flash forward to today where The Morning Benders are one of the hottest indie bands around and their newest release is produced by Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear? Talk about coming along way.

Amongst some personal song highlights of the night were “All Day Day Light,” “Pleasure Sighs,” “Hand Me Downs,” and of course, “Excuses.” For this song, Chu came into the crowd and sung to a few audience members as he roamed around the front portion of the floor. He really knows how to work a crowd, and you can see he enjoys every moment of it. So does the fans. There was no encore, and Chu told the crowd that the band would be in the lobby after the show to greet and talk to fans.

This is what makes me love music. This is what makes me love The Morning Benders.

CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS FROM THE SHOW HERE

Watch two videos from The Morning Benders show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg

“All Day Day Light”

“Hand Me Downs”

The Morning Benders Release New Video for “Promises”


The Morning Benders are back at it again with the second video off their new record Big Echo (Plus One/Roughtrade), with the song “Promises.” This is the first music video by the band that doesn’t feature themselves, it’s also their most theatrical.

The video chronicles two young Bonnie and Clyde like characters…and by young we mean about eight to ten years old. They get into abnormal trouble for children their age and somehow get involved with drinking, smoking, triple x shows, bank robbery (under the name Morning Benders), cat throwing, gun toting, hostages, and ultimate death and suicide. It’s a bit heavy for video by The Morning Benders, but it is also hands down, their best yet. Who knew they had it in them?

Also if you’re in the New York City area, be sure to catch The Morning Benders at the end of their tour. The band will be playing tomorrow (Saturday) night at The Music Hall of Williamsburg and again this coming Wednesday to a Sold Out crowd at Mercury Lounge.

Secondhand Sunday: The Morning Benders “Waiting For a War”


What better way to start Spring off then with some old school Morning Benders. There’s nothing we can really say about this song from the poppy (former) Californians, but it’s ohhhhh so good. This week’s edition of Secondhand Sunday is their track for “Waiting For a War.” Get ready to start dancing around your apartement. Yea, the Morning Benders just make you want to do that, don’t they?

Listen to the New Single “Excuses” by The Morning Benders!


Earlier this we showed you the new video by The Morning Benders, called “Excuses,” off of their upcoming record, Big Echo (Roughtrade) due out March 9th. Today the band put up on their website the new song to download. The studio version of the track is even more beautiful than the one in the video. The Morning Benders have always been a great band, and it’s nice to see they are finally gaining some recognition. Stream “Excuses” on Modern Mystery below!

Morning Benders Excuses by melissa-2

The Morning Benders Release Friend Filled Video for “Excuses”

The Morning Benders have certainly come up in the world. You don’t have to search hard on Modern Mystery to find out that we’ve loved this band since day one. I personally recall listening to the band for the first time when one of their first videos for “Waiting for a War,” came onto the scene from their debut album Talking Through Tin Cans (+1 Music) in 2008. For most people, the guys have been a bit off the radar until recently. Now they seem to be exploding everywhere we look.  Their newest record titled Big Echo (Rough Trade) will be out on March 9th and is produced by no other than Grizzly Bear’s own Chris Taylor.

The Morning Benders just put out an amazing performance video of their new song ” Excuses,” which singer Chris Chu performed at CMJ during his very intimate Lit Lounge performance with a bunch of very talented teenagers. In the video for “Excuses”  the band was joined with the help of various people and friends (spot Chris from Girls? or the sensational John Vanderslice?) along with the Echo Chamber Orchestra. The Morning Benders are about to become your new favorite band, if they aren’t already. Check out the video and tour dates below including shows with Surfer Blood and The Miniature Tigers!

The Morning Benders on Tour 
02/25 – New York, New York @ Housing Works (Hype Machine CD Swap)
02/27 – Brooklyn, New York @ Market Hotel #
03/10 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania @ Johnny Brendas
03/11 – Washington DC @ Black Cat
03/12 – Chapel Hill, North Carolina @ Local 506
03/13 – Atlanta, Georgia @ Drunken Unicorn
03/15 – Birmingham, Alabama @ The Bottletree
03/17 – Austin, Texas (SXSW)
03/23 – Phoenix, Arizona @ Rhythm Room
03/25 – Los Angeles, California @ The Troubador
03/26 – San Diego, California @ The Casbah
03/27 – Costa Mesa, California @ Detroit Bar
03/28 – Santa Barbara, California @ Muddy Waters
03/30 – San Francisco, California @ The Independent
04/01 – Portland, Oregon @ Holocene
04/02 – Seattle, Washington @ Crocodile Cafe
04/03 – Vancouver, British Columbia @ Media Club
04/05 – Provo, Utah @ Club Velour
04/07 – Denver, Colorado @ Hi-Dive
04/09 – Des Moines, Iowa @ The Vaudeville Mews
04/10 – Ames, Iowa @ The Maintenance Shop
04/11 – Rock Island, Illinois @ Huckleberry’s Pizza (Daytrotter Presents)
04/12 – Chicago, Illinois @ Schubas
04/14 – Toronto, Ontario @ The Drake Hotel
04/15 – Montreal, Quebec @ La Sala Rossa
04/16 – Winooski, Vermont @ The Monkey House
04/17 – Boston, Massachusetts @ TT The Bear’s
04/22 – New York, New York @ Mercury Lounge

# w/ Surfer Blood