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

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

  1. Great album and a good review.

  2. Great review.


  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.

  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!

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