Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wake Up It's The Morningbell

Gainesville's psychedelic pop masters, Morningbell, have returned yet again. It's hard to believe that this band around for so long and has yet to be signed. Four albums in and it's easy to say that Morningbell are clearly one of the best bands in Gainesville if not in the entire state. They have perfected their craft, their sound, and released a pack of exceptionally adept records. With all that in the bank and the band playing at their best, they've decided to throw a few new things into the formula. Gone from their sound is the bands overwhelming psychedelic influences and here now are a mixture of power pop and soul sounds mixed with some classic pop and world music styling which makes Sincerely Severely sound something like Of Montreal partying with Janes Addiction and Prince at Carnivale.

Sincerely Severely is an album that covers all its bases by utilizing everything it knows. While the band's tendency for psychedelics has been replaced with a more soulful and intimate approach, Morningbell has still managed to intermingle the two at times to create expansive songs that really want to hang out with Jamiroquai and Vampire Weekend. As bizarre as that might sound, it's really not a bad thing at all because the musicianship and the songs are both incredibly song (see "Dancing In The Jaws Of A Lion," for a prime example). In all honesty, about the only thing that does get a bit weird is vocalist Travis Atria's attempts at falsetto; sometimes it works and sometimes it just seems a bit odd for its own good but that's just nitpicking

Musically armed with loads of horns and strings, Morningbell really sound more as if they're putting on a review then just playing on an album. Sincerely Severely is the sound of a band having to much fun at what they're doing and loving every minute of it. Whether it's with strings, horns, world music vibes, soulful jams, or blissed out guitar work, Morningbell cover more ground in 50 minutes than most bands do their entire career. Sincerely Severely is a wonderfully diverse record that takes pop music and turns it on its head and then reshapes it and makes it, it's own. From the world music feel of "The Blue Whale and the Fly," to the power pop of "Lets Not Lose Our Heads," Sincerely Severely is all over the place in all the best ways.

Sincerely Severely is another notch in the brilliant career of these Gainesville legends. In fact, it might just be the album of their career simply because it's an album that refuses to sit still and be contained by genre. Morningbell have come a long way over their short career and Sincerely Severely proves it. This is a band that has matured into one of the best groups of musicians in the state. Now if someone outside of this state would just sign them justice would be done!

Download: Good Morning I'm Here
Download: Marching Off To War

No comments: