What if the sweet, art-house pretzel-logic Americana of Jeff Tweedy and Wilco was irresistibly informed by an almost obsessive love of Ray Davies and The Kinks, as if the white light of Tweedy’s rampant originality was broken into a spectrum of sound after hitting the Kinks’ prism shrine in his head? That could be as good a place as any to begin with The Morning Benders, who offer up an intriguing blend of Baroque Pop and Indie Rock that bubbles with a singular energy even as it references a sonic tradition that's comfortably familiar.
The Morning Benders took shape five years ago in Berkeley, Calif., honing its sound, its songs and its personnel across a pair of EPs until it was ready to unleash the crazy goodness of its debut full-length, 2008’s Talking Through Tin Cans, an album that iTunes knighted with the esteemed title of Best Indie/Alternative Album of that year. It’s fair to say that a number of folks noticed before iTunes (although they were iTunes’ Editor’s Pick earlier in the year), as it had garnered much attention and acclaim opening for Ra Ra Riot, The Kooks, Yo La Tengo and Death Cab for Cutie, among others.
The Morning Benders play the Southgate House Tuesday. Go here to read Brian Baker's full Sound Advice recommendation.