Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Review: The Morning Benders, Big Echo

The Morning Benders
Big Echo

Once upon a summer time, two years ago, yours truly attended a life changing concert at Terminal 5 in a notably derelict area of Midtown New York City. The headlining band was the Kooks, soon to become a favorite band of mine. While the event was significant in regards to a blossoming infatuation with the Kooks’ frontman, Luke Pritchard, the gig was also special for its surprisingly decent opening band, the Morning Benders. The band hailing from the far coast of Berkeley, California shores appeared awkward at first. Dressed in Sunday-best polos, dirty sneakers, and thick-rimmed glasses, the newbie boys looked every bit the part of the opening band experiencing their big break while accompanying the well-toured British Kooks. The Morning Benders serenaded the crowd with pleasant and refreshing tunes, reminding the New York concert-goers of all those laid back, na├»ve, and innocent teenage years they never had. As reviews of the show later revealed to agree, I found the opening band impressive and genuinely delightful. After a few songs to get themselves comfortable, the scrawny lads seemed to be enjoying themselves on stage, despite the audience’s hesitation to support the neophytes…typical. (cont'd after the jump)
The night was magical, and instead of convincing my Parisian visitor to hang around Terminal 5 the next afternoon to catch the Kooks before they arrived for their second performance, I decided to bring her to Brooklyn. To my excitement, we found ourselves at the same corner as the boys from the Morning Benders! Lucky for me, I had my exotic Frenchie to use as bait, as we met the lead singer Chris Chu and some other guys (could have been band members, but I couldn’t tell as I have the tendency to fixate on the frontguys). After glorious moments of talking about the Myspace comeback for the music scene and how my friend was enjoying America blah blah blah, we parted ways only to find that both parties were entering the subway to return to Manhattan. Oddly enough, we seemed to have lost sight of each other and could not find the Morning Benders to accompany on the ride home, a real shame.
At that time, the Morning Benders were publicizing their record debut for Talking Through Tin Cans, which iTunes awarded the best indie/alternative album of 2008. Nowadays, the band has released several other EP’s and toured with bands like MGMT, Death Cab for Cutie, Yeasayer, White Rabbits, and Yo La Tengo. Their latest album, Big Echo, is exactly the kind of material one anticipates from the precociously talented band. With pretty guitar moments isolated from vocals, the record is a mixture of lazy easy listening, tender romantic ballads, and feelin-groovy type songs. Song highlights include: Excuses,” “Wet Cement, Cold War (Nice Clean Fight),” and “All Day Daylight.” Basically, the recent release comes just in time for the beautiful spring weather. In fact, for those of us who like to envision our lives to be movies, this record would suit spring gambols and summertime adventures as an ideal soundtrack. It’s too bad a Hoyas’s warm weather leisure time is usually spent in rather air-conditioned environs taking part in cubicle-type pursuits. Big Echo may be used as an intern day dreamers’ soundtrack as well as a frolicking slackers’.

-- Charlotte Japp
"Roanoke," Sundays midnight - 2 am on WGTB

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

beautiful charlotte.. brought a tear to my eye