The Morning Benders - Big Echo

Oli Shilling 23/04/2010

Rating: 4.5/5

The Morning Benders caused quite a fuss at the start of this year, when they released two tracks from this album, 'Excuses' and 'Promises'. Rightly so. Both of these songs were brilliant, with 'Excuses' coming with an insightful video about the recording process, it certainly whet the appetite. The album opens with these two tracks, so naturally it's an impressive start, and the great sound carries through 'Wet Cement' and 'Cold War (Nice Clean Fight)' which are equally successful.

Produced by Chris Taylor, from Grizzly Bear, the sound is wholesome and smooth, with their influence clear, though not imprinted too heavily on the record. Lead singer Chris Chu has a great voice, suiting this emotional indie perfectly, with enough meaning conveyed to carry them respectably through even the most poppy of their songs. Although there's an element of surf-indie present, it's not too blissful, considering the band hail from Cali. On some songs the sound even borders grunge, which provides a nice kick to an album that is mostly quite chilled. Lyrically, Chu is also on top form, with quips such as “I can't help thinking we grew up too fast” in 'Promises', making Big Echo thoughtful and deep while still being very accessible.

The influences this band have drawn upon are strong and cleverly integrated, creating a very polished sound which works brilliantly. The first four tracks are incredibly strong as an opening, and despite a more laid back second half, the album is very successful as a whole.

Release Date: Out now