Morning Glory – [Album]

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Over the last couple of years, plenty of bands have tried to update punk rock in one way or another but the results have always ended up being pretty mixed. Part of that has to do with the fact that some of what's come out has just been too ambitious; conspicuously, many of the new signings to Epitaph Records look and sound more like metalheads and angry mallrats than anything, and they're all trying too hard to “make a mark” by dragging in extra sounds which are just unnecessary. It has all just made a cumbersome mess of things.

That so much ambitious overshooting has been so prevalent in punk rock is what makes both Morning Glory and their third album (first for Fat Wreck), Poets Were My Heroes, so refreshing. From the outside, true, it already has the credibility (Morning Glory is the brainchild of Ezra Kire – ex- of both Leftover Crack and Choking Victim), but it also has a bunch of fresh and new ideas running through its dozen tracks which owe nothing to metal or pop – they are simply all their own.

Listeners will sit up surprised and take notice quickly from the moment “Everything's A Song (To Me)” rolls the record open with wide-eyed enthusiasm, excitement and a brand new manifesto to line up behind. Here, Kire boldly asserts that nothing is sacred and will continue to not be on his watch (check out lines like “”Stop the bus and let me off!/ That's a song/ All my friends are drunks/ That's a song/ I have to enter the UFO/ That's a song!/ Fuck yeah, that's a song!” for an idea of where this is headed) and he boldly mixes in bits of several outside genres (metal, electronic, pop, some folky acousticism and more) and spits them at listeners – but never lets them get a hook into the punk rock spirit of the proceedings. Rather, the entire song is an excellent commentary on both genre and identity. That's bold, but it's presented in such a way that it just seems right and necessary.

With that stage set and reinforced, Kire and the band continue presenting a series of supercharged and stylistically rich (but focused) anthems that will both pound and wow listeners at their best and be forgettable at their worst, but there aren't many moments worth forgetting. While the title track goes overboard when it starts pulling in orchestral strains and something like electronica engineering and production, it's easy to forget about when Kire presents songs like “Shelter From The Spoon” (which proves it is possible to play to both pop punk and hardcore audiences at the same time), “March Of The Asylum” (which both plays along with and criticizes both the military and skinhead conformist mentality with a marching snare roll and lyrics like “I don't know but I've been told/ Think for yourself and break the mould”) and “Orphan's Holiday” (which plays about as close to a Frank Turner song as listeners are likely to get – from anyone other than Frank Turner); each song is almost perfectly different from the last but manages to keep its core (punk) identity and values of individuality, commentary, action and activism in place. Poets Were My Heroes does all of those things and also manages to rekindle a few of the embers which made four chords and a bad attitude help to forever change the minds of those they touch. Is that exciting? It might be….


Morning Glory – "Patiently" – Poets Were My Heroes


Poets Were My Heroes
is out now. Buy it here, directly from Fat Wreck Chords .

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