Making their proper full-length debut after releasing a couple of well-received EPs, Berkeley’s the Morning Benders manage the increasingly difficult feat of distinguishing themselves from the glut of soundalike acts on the crowded indie-pop scene. Talking Through Tin Cans combines a handful of new songs with some re-recorded versions of highlights from their Loose Change and Boarded Doors EPs. Predominantly uptempo and under three-and-a-half minutes apiece, the songs don’t overstay their welcome, and the band’s definite selling point is their knack for ingratiating pop melodies: The wordplay and bouncy, octave-jumping verses of “Patient Patient” and the b-sections of “I Was Wrong” and “Loose Change” speak to a Beatles influence that is obvious without ever becoming derivative. The band’s lo-fi recording leaves a good deal of distortion in the lead guitars, and standout “Waiting for a War” is driven by a noticeably out-of-tune church piano. The percussion is foregrounded in many of the mixes, which gives the songs a real sense of heft and draws attention to drummer Julian Harmon’s just-off-beat rhythms. Beyond its unshakable melodies, the sloppiness of these tracks is a major source of their charm: The Morning Benders make their brand of ‘60s-inspired pop seem effortless. There’s nothing revolutionary here, but Talking Through Tin Cans is one of the most unabashedly fun pop debuts in recent memory.
- Slant is reaching more readers than ever before, but advertising revenue across the Internet is falling fast, hitting independently owned and operated publications like ours the hardest. We’ve watched many of our fellow media sites fall by the way side in recent years, but we’re determined to stick around.
We’ve never asked our readers for financial support before, and we’re committed to keeping our content free and accessible—meaning no paywalls or subscription fees. If you like what we do, however, please consider becoming a Slant patron.
You can also make a one-time donation via PayPal: