The Morning Benders are purveyors of indie-pop on Big Echo

On Talking Through Tin Cans, the band’s last proper album, The Morning Benders didn’t seem to have any grand aspirations. “Damnit Anna” was a modest acoustic romp; “Crosseyed” was a Shins-y foray into acoustic pop; “Chasing a Ghost” added some electric elements rock to the formula.

But Big Echo is different. The band wants the album to be more. If Talking Through Tin Cans was shit-eating innocence, Big Echo is the advent of adulthood. The production value is used to the band’s advantage (having Grizzly Bear bassist Chris Taylor co-produce will do that), whereas The Morning Benders’ first album seemed to be a few tracks just slapped on top of each other (generally). And so the songs, again, besides the fact that they’re filtered through a decidedly Grizzly Bear sensibility, seem to want be more than simple, fun tracks. Now they want to be the soundtrack to something. Like your summer. Brah.

If anything, the album is unfailingly bright and sunny. Opener “Excuses” hearkens back to the music of decades ago, and the prominent spacious guitar riffs and dulled organ don’t hurt much either.

And really, there’s not much more for me to say. The album’s not perfect, of course — it drags in the middle for a bit — but it’s not explicitly bad at any point. It’s agreeable. Chris Chu’s voice is nice and distinct, the guitars are crisp, the drums move the tracks along nicely, and the production is well suited for the direction the band seems to want to go. So take out your new boom box (or whatever the kids listen to these days) out to the beach and pump up some Big Echo. Because I said so. Go. Now.

The Morning Benders – “Excuses” [MP3]

The Morning Benders – “All Day Daylight” [MP3]

Purchase Big Echo here

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