Morning Benders – Big Echo

January 01, 1970

(Rough
Trade)

 

www.roughtrade.com

 

The
Morning Benders have no fear. This Brooklyn (via San Francisco) quartet could have begun Big Echo, its second album, with
“All Day Day Light,” the set’s noisiest song, or “Cold War (Nice
Clean Fight),” the sprightliest. Instead, the Benders taunt the
wimpophobic by opening with “Excuses,” a string-driven throwback to
the days when Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson were first developing psychedelic
MOR.
It’s a gutsy statement of meekness.

 

Of
course, it’s not all that bold to be mild within the confines of today’s wispy
alt-pop — especially when Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor is co-producing. (His
production partner is Benders singer-guitarist Christopher Chu). And by
comparison to many of their peers, the Benders can sound nearly punk, throwing
guitar distortion and actual choruses up against their tinkly glockenspiel and
woozy “whoa-ohs.”

 

If
the album is more roundabout pop than straightforward rock, its elaborately
layered sound isn’t the whole story. Most of the material has punch, at least
in places, and the melodies (usually) trump the hazy sonics. Even “Sleepin
In,” the sunshine-pop closer, is tougher than the playfully misleading
“Excuses.” Big Echo may emphasize
just what its title promises, but it also boasts reasonably big songs.

 

Standout Tracks: “Cold War (Nice
Clean Fight),” “All Day Day Light” MARK JENKINS

 

 

 

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