Big Echo is a well titled LP. For a band so clearly indebted to the sounds of the echo chamber of a particular branch of rock and roll, it is honest and forthright nomenclature. The Morning Benders, only now two albums into their career, have crafted a subtly charming album that at once fully involves the sunny, complex pop of the 60s along with fractured neo-psychedelia and the loopy, loping indie-rock of Pavement.

Embedded within Big Echo‘s sound is a rich mixture of modernity and classicism. The record opens with the sound of vinyl pops and cracks – not an original idea in the digital age, but certainly reflective of the album’s mindset. Opener “Excuses” has a piano-driven Everly Brothers harmony to it that wanders through a field of percussion and strings. “Wet Cement” channels the thrumming, floor-tom driven balladry of the Beach Boys. Even the songs that aren’t so obviously swimming in style are tinctured with moments of such – “All Day Daylight” and its sugary, absurdly catchy chorus, for one.

It’s these such moments that echo the neo-psychedelic sounds of Elephant 6 and even the Paisley Underground. The natural next step comes in on songs like “Pleasure Sighs,” an analog-warm track that crackles, hums and woozily wanders along its running time in something that seems pulled from a lost, incredibly coherent Olivia Tremor Control album. “Hand Me Down” gives the bracing, lo-fi classic pop—that has lately been running rampant—a clear competitor.

It’s always a bit dangerous to lay out so many comparisons for a band, as there is a chance readers will look at the album as adding nothing new to the conversation — but Big Echo is not only a record worth the initial spin, it warrants repeated listens. While its title may not be a purposeful comment on the album’s tendency to capture so much great pop music in its structure, it certainly speaks to the album’s quality as a piece of work that seems studied and absorbent in the best possible ways. The Morning Benders are creating a legacy worth engaging, and it speaks volumes for the way their music represents and evolves its obvious influences. words/ j. neas

MP3: The Morning Benders :: Excuses
MP3: The Morning Benders :: Promises
———————

+ Download The Morning Benders via eMusic’s 25 free MP3 no risk trial offer
____________________________________________________________________________________

8 Responses to “The Morning Benders :: Big Echo”

  1. Great album and a good review.

  2. Great review.

    http://suchaclatter.blogspot.com/2010/03/big-echo.html

  3. [...] MORNING BENDERS – EXCUSES [...]

  4. Have you guys heard that Miles Kurosky is coming out with an album. He’s the front man fro Beulah, and the song “I Can’t Swim” is awesome. http://www.myspace.com/mileskurosky

  5. the volume doesnt ever work

  6. [...] isn’t exploited enough in Hip-Hop production and the Morning Benders’ sophomore album, Big Echo, could be a very interesting source to explore. If this video for the album’s single shows [...]

  7. record okay on initial spin–but got better with every single repeat listen…and it was great on the second. i was wondering what would be said about the vinyl at the beginning! i’ve read that sort of thing called arrogant before!

  8. Such an underrated band! I was skeptical at first, but after delving deeper in, I was impressed!

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>