The Morning Benders – Big Echo


Big Echo is a big, expansive and extremely confident piece of work. Excuses shuffles into life with some click-clacking percussion and the kind of syrupy sweet vocal that used to come out of Laurel Canyon in the 1960’s. It’s an affectionate, rose-tinted view of a 60’s pop song with a clever, multi-layered and highly interesting arrangement. It’s ‘da dums’ and ‘waa ohhs’ are also pleasingly memorable if not entirely unforgettable but, essentially, it’s a pleasant little tune that will brighten your day up nicely.

Promises is, well, much more promising indeed. It’s a song of many shapes, most of them quite funky in character, and it builds up and up into a very pleasing little anthem indeed. Students everywhere will be shuffling around dance floors to this come Fresher’s Week, mark my words. Wet Cement is playful, catchy and endlessly entertaining and things carry on in that vein throughout. Although, to be honest, I could do without Cold War, which sounds like a dodgy Kooks b-side, which isn’t good, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t tell you it had a catchy chorus, which it does. Still, not to worry, it’s followed by the sumptuous and elegant Pleasure Sighs, which feels far too grown up for this band to be capable of and all the more remarkable because of it. Hand Me Downs sparkles like a fat girl’s sweaty brow after a run, Mason Jar feels like Portishead without the technics and All Day All Night is as big and brash a song as you could hope to hear. It’s the kind of catchy little indie tune you wish more bands were capable of because it gets your heart beating, lifts your energy levels and then forces you to dance round the living room for a couple of minutes before it gets the hell out of Dodge. In other words, it’s great.

The 5 minute Stitches proves they’re capable of expanding their horizons without deteriorating in quality or sounding like they’re showing off and is the one song I’d suggest those of you who think you’ve grown out of spotty young indie bands should check out first, just to prove that you’re wrong. It’s a powerful and accomplished song and worthy of the price of admission alone. It should really be the closer of the album as it leaves such a good taste in your mouth but the band have been nice enough to put the floaty and almost pointless Sleeping In on at the end, just to send you off to sleep in a good mood. It’s a good song, but it feels like a comedown after the mighty Stitches. Instead of finishing the album with a bit of fire left in its belly it instead offers you a warm, lemon scented towel to wash your hands with and bids you a fond farewell.

At the end of the day though, Big Echo stamps its feet loud enough to make itself heard over the cacophony of terrible indie bands that are floating around nowadays and I can safely say that Incendiary will be keeping tabs on this lot in the future. Big echo is an album of big ideas and big ambitions and it pulls most of them off with aplomb. This is a job very well done and if that doesn’t make you smile, then just look at the band name once again and allow yourself to chortle.

The Morning Benders indeed.