The Morning Benders

Wednesday

SXSW Records

The Morning Benders

Big Echo (Rough Trade)

The Morning Benders waste no time in setting the singles bar for 2010, opening their sophomore LP and debut for Rough Trade with the stunning "Excuses." A vinyl hiss melts into the blurry orchestral sweep of pure pop charm behind Chris Chu's daydreaming vocal swoons. Credit Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor in production for accentuating the harmonized crescendos, but for all the Berkeley, Calif.-born quartet's melodic grandeur in opening, they may have set the bar too high for themselves. Jagged contortions and slink on the following "Promises" are unexpectedly thrilling but jar the album out of its reverie, preventing its attempted return on "Wet Cement" and the aptly titled "Pleasure Sighs" from reaching the same plane. The entire backside, in fact, alternates between those two impulses and never quite finds its footing, so that by the slow crawl to climax of closers "Stitches" and "Sleepin In," the thrill is gone. (Wed., 1am, Emo's Jr.)

**.5

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw. Sign up for our South-by-specific newsletter at austinchronicle.com/newsletters/ for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest Tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Heart-Shaped Box Sets
The Beatles / The Rolling Stones
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Deluxe Edition), Their Satanic Majesties Request (50th Anniversary Special Edition) (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Dec. 8, 2017

Heart-Shaped Box Sets
Helium
The Dirt of Luck, The Magic City, Ends With And (Record Review)

Libby Webster, Dec. 8, 2017

More by Doug Freeman
Heart-Shaped Box Sets
R.E.M.
Automatic for the People (25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) (Record Review)

Dec. 8, 2017

Heart-Shaped Box Sets
Bob Dylan
Trouble No More: The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981 (Record Review)

Dec. 8, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

The Morning Benders

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)