Monday, May 19, 2008

The Morning Benders at the Echo

The debut full length album from The Morning Benders has finally arrived and was celebrated with a record release show at the Echo. Talking Through Tin Cans is currently in heavy rotation on my ipod and I was looking forward to catching them prior to their sold out cross country tour opening for the Kooks.


An illuminated bass drum and an assortment of percussive instruments on a stand were cluttered on the stage as the dynamic duo of Rumspringa appeared on stage. Joey Stevens (Guitars/Vocals) plucked out ringing notes on his Fender Telecaster with the help of some metallic finger picks for a dirty scratchy tone for their Americana inspired rock. The interesting twist they provided was Joey's adept use of 2 Boss Looping pedals that would sample various phrases as he would stack his loops to provide a slice of the psychedelic. Itaru de la Vega (Drums) kept the music floating along with a steady cadence. Rumspringa had a strong contingent of fans stationed in front of the stage cutting loose and dancing around. I may have to check out their residency at the Echo in June to get another dose of their rollicking tunes.


Dawes looked and sounded familiar from the start. It turns out that Dawes is a good majority of the band Simon Dawes who I previously saw open for Wolfmother in Las Vegas. Taylor Goldsmith (Guitars/Vocals) led Dawes through a sharp Americana influenced rock set as he coaxed some bittersweet solos from his Fender Stratocaster. Wylie Gelber (Bass) was situated close to the drum kit to lock in his bass lines. One of the many songs that caught my attention was "When You Call My Name". Dawes only has one song posted on their Myspace page but I assume are working on a full length album as they played an eight song set.

Morning Benders

The Morning Benders continue to impress me every time I see them. Talking Through Tin Cans will most likely fall into the top 10 indie albums of the year as each song on the album packs a healthy pop punch. Tim (Bass) has switched from a Fender Bass to a super slick black Rickenbacker bass to give the Morning Benders a sharp rounder low end sound that meshes perfectly with the duel clean guitar attack from Chris Chu (Vocals/Guitars) and Joe Ferrell (Guitars). The Morning Benders worked through a good portion of their new album along with a few B-sides. "Patient Patient" was one of the many highlights for me as I enjoy the wobbly rotating Leslie speaker simulated guitar solo. "Waiting For A War" was fierce as Tim stepped on his Boss Turbo Distortion pedal during the song that forcefully shook the Echo. "Boarded Doors" pure ear candy as Chris would rake his guitar strings while Joe filled in the blank spaces with some Rhodes keyboards. In my interview with Chris and Joe, I mentioned how much I liked the recording of the drums so I will have to give credit to Julian Harmon for replicating the consistent shuffle that is on the album in a live setting. Since The Morning Benders will be opening for the Kooks on their US tour, I imagine they will continue to win over many new fans. It will be interesting to hear them on some decent soundsystems as they have a lot of nuances in their sound that sometimes gets lost in the mix. I hope you have your tickets to one of their shows because most of the dates are already sold out.

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