The Morning Benders - Big Echo (2010). Songs in album The Morning Benders - Big Echo (2010).
While Talking Through Tin Cans was almost a Chu solo project, Big Echo relies fairly heavily on the whole group, with electric guitars replacing Tin Cans’ acoustics and dense, layered soundscapes reigning supreme throughout.
Perhaps the marketplace is too crowded at present for Big Echo to shine as widely as it could. Perhaps these songs simply lack the legs to go the distance, despite a prettiness that should be of mass appeal.
This second album marks a huge step forward for The Morning Benders following their 2008 debut Talking Through Tin Cans. That record was largely forgettable; its straight-forward approach to American indie-rock the sound of a band that lacked scope in ambition and song-writing, sounding five years out of date even at the time of its release.
Big Echo is an album made to be played LOUD. It sounds great on headphones. The band that made it is called THE MORNING BENDERS. They recorded the album in San Francisco and mixed it in Brookyln. CHRIS CHU and CHRIS TAYLOR (Grizzly Bear) produced it in eleven days. On the twelfth day they rejoiced. There are 10 tracks on Big Echo which THE MORNING BENDERS think is best length for an album. It should also be said that Big Echo is made of some of the most glorious pop music you'll hear this year or any year. Shouting into a valley.
The Morning Benders’s sophomore effort, Big Echo, underwhelms, then, because it strains to make the trio sound like countless other acts currently mining a retro-minded aesthetic for instant indie cred. The most frequently cited point of comparison thus far has been to Grizzly Bear, which isn’t an inaccurate comparison so much as a lazy one, given that Chris Taylor, bassist for Grizzly Bear, produced the record with a fussiness and density of sound similar to that of his own band. But the album fails to use this already familiar point of view to explore any uncharted paths. Lead single Excuses boasts a terrific percussion line and layered harmony vocal, but it’s far and away the best song on Big Echo.
That being said, The Morning Benders are an enjoyable three piece outfit from Berkeley, California that shouldn’t be completely overlooked. Overall, Big Echo is a captivating and refreshing new interpretation of Indie-rock. Whether or not it has any lasting value remains to be seen, however, for now Big Echo provides its audience with a splendid assortment of pop-rock songs. So I urge you to forget about timeless quality and simply enjoy Big Echo for what it is: a collection of simplistic pop-melodies written and performed solely for your enjoyment.