Morning Parade - Morning Parade
Record Label: Parlophone Records
Release Date: June 19, 2012
For a band whose sound has been dubbed, "robust indie with stadium ambitions, passionate vocals and penchant for rave-rock rhythms" from the likes of UK daily newspaper The Guardian, it’s easy to see the impact this new five-piece British band has made back home in England. America, meet one of your new favorite indie alt-rock bands: Morning Parade.
The band, who signed with glorified UK major label Parlophone in 2010 -home to the likes of Coldplay, Interpol, and Radiohead- set out to begin recording at 12 Studios, own and operated by Blur/Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn. After demoing, numerous EPs and 7” releases, Morning Parade finally released their eponymous debut in the UK March 5th of this year. While the US release just hit stores today, the band has been touring the US for the better part of a month with indie newcomer darlings Walk The Moon. Morning Parade have been stopping at every major alternative radio station on the tour route, performing live acoustic sets and getting their name out to the American audience. So far, that tactic has paid dividends as they have seen increased airplay and backing from Sirus station AltNation, as well as backing from MTV to go along with a showcase at SXSW. The band has claimed they ask themselves, “Can you see 100,000 people singing this back to you? If not, we get rid of it. We want to be huge.” And with the self-titled album, they might just be the next big thing.
The CD starts off with the anthem “Blue Winter”, a high-energy rock track that sets the scene for what is to come. Haunting echoes start the song prior to the introduction of Steve Sparrows soaring vocals, delicately touched with a hint of British accent. The discs first single, “Headlights”, gives us the sing-a-long capabilities as the chorus swoons “like a rabbit in your headlights, I am the beckon to your call.” It's clear that this bands goal is to hook you with their catchy melodies, delicate vocals, and well arranged songs. It's a song that is very reminiscent to that of Glasvegas' debut album years ago. We see the well-crafted song technique again on “Carousel”, a foot-tapping song with one hell of a beat mixed throughout that allows for one to have the urge to keep the beat and get drawn in. The album then slows down a bit, with the delicate piano of “Running Down The Aisle”, showcasing the bands ability to connect with other successful British acts of the last ten years like Keane and Coldplay. Sparrow’s vocals are particularly noteworthy in this song, as we get to see the strength and emotion at the forefront for the first time as his voice is the dominant presence and factor of the song.
“Us & Ourselves” is arguably the bands most radio-ready track on the album, a catchy rock song, showcasing again Sparrow’s range, but also the instrumentation of all the members. This is a track I can see hitting the airwaves in months time, becoming an anthem for the fall season. The highlight of the song, in my honest opinion, is none other than the bridge, which acts as almost a call of allegiance between the listener and the band. “Under The Stars” starts off slow, but builds and builds and builds upon itself, bringing to light one of the purest rock tunes embedded with synths that we get to see on the self-titled. The song is easily one of those songs that will be a fan favorite at almost any show, as it’s near impossible not to sway your body in some form as the song plays out. “Half Litre Bottle” and “Monday Morning” both show us the softer side of the band, with “Half Litre Bottle” being a stripped down acoustic ballad dealing with alcoholism and addiction, whereas “Monday Morning” welcomes the start of a new week, a new perspective, and asking for life to slow down. Lyrically, it’s a hidden gem of the album, but it might be one of those songs that slips between the cracks of not fitting on a setlist full of arena anthems. “Speechless” brings us back to a up-tempo rock level, being a song easily pictured for the big arenas. “Born Alone”, clocking in at a few seconds under 6 minutes, seems to be the one song on the CD that doesn’t do it for me. Everything else up to this point is well done, and while this song is nice and a good listen, it just doesn’t have the same impact as the rest of the album to me. Finally, the US release features the song “Youth”, which appeared on the bands earlier EP “The Hated and the Loved”. The song fits nicely in the flow of the self-titled, and is a nice addition, but really does not add or take away from the disc.
Overall, Morning Parade have released a record that should put them on the map of alternative rock fans across the world. Numerous radio-ready hits, stadium anthems, and catchy tunes. While they didn’t break the mold by doing anything out of this world new, they did nearly perfect what so many UK bands have been trying to do. If the album can get the push from the label, the band has potential to reach their goal of stardom. If not, then they sure as hell have a great disc to start building a stellar discography on.
Fucking bump. Can you bump on reviews? Doesn't matter.
This was my absolute favorite album of 2012, with A Silent Film's Sand & Snow a close second. Every track on here is freaking perfect. My favs are Headlights, Half-Litre Bottle, Monday Morning, and Born Alone. More people need to love this band.