Morning Fame “Back and Forth”

originally posted on Wednesday, 11 December 2013

 

The first thing I thought of when listening to Morning Fame was how much they reminded me of 90’s alternative bands similar to those of Gin Blossoms or early Foo Fighters. Funny thing is that when I went on their Facebook page and looked under info, the first band they put under “Influences” is “Gin Blossoms.” The problem with Gin Blossoms is that, while they have some very catchy hits that I love such as Follow You Down, Hey Jealousy and my personal favourite Till I Hear It From You, beyond those hits, their other songs, for the most part, didn’t sound much different. I mean, I’m a fan and can listen to their stuff and thoroughly enjoy it, but I would never argue with someone who might listen to Gin Blossoms and not enjoy them.

Luckily for up-and-comers Morning Fame, this isn’t the case with their music. While they feature that less-than-heard vibe from that period of the 90’s, they still manage to change things up and write enough different sounding songs to keep anyone entertained. More similar to that of Foo Fighters, who started off in similar waters as Gin Blossoms or Better Than Ezra, but managed to find better ways to write catchy tunes and eventually grow in to the modern day stars that they are now.

Their recently released album, Back and Forth is a compilation of sorts, compiling the best of their EPs in to one collection and also including two new tracks. The two new tracks, The Golden One and Cast Away start the compilation off well, showing what they sound like now, instead of building up to it later in the album. I prefer compilations that either go chronologically or reverse chronologically (as this one is) rather than compilations that place songs in random order.

The song Cast Away packs a bit more punch than the opening track The Golden One. For the purposes of the compilation, I may have placed Cast Away first, but The Golden One is understandably a few months newer so the band stayed true to their reverse chronological compilation order. The Golden One maintains a mellow free spirited sound throughout the song, while Cast Away, after starting with a hail of drums, turns in to a more rock dominant song with consistently noticeable drum playing by drummer Alan Dennis and some great crunching guitar chords by guitarists Vik Kapur and Joe Liranzo.

The compilation than continues into previously released tracks, starting with The Colour of Sound; the longest of tracks on the album. It goes back to the mellow sound that’s already been heard on The Golden One but with a hell of a break down in the middle. Turn To Stone mixes many different90’s influences, from what I can hear, and it makes for an interesting track.

Joker’s Game is more of a hard rock sound. It features a harder guitar riff, that reminds me ov Van Halen’s Somebody Get Me A Doctor (but that’s just the Van Halen fanatic in me hearing that). The song is a welcome change for the compilation. It still features Vik’s soft and sweet but somewhat hurt sounding vocals keeping the track familiar to that of the songs previously heard, but musically the song is in many ways a classic rock influenced song. The compilations sound further changes with the song Blinded. This track changes the mood of previous songs. Rather than being mellow and somewhat gloomy to listen to, it has a bit of an inspirational feel to it and it’s the second song in a row to feature a guitar solo. Something On My Mind is somewhere between Blinded and other songs heard on the album. It is more upbeat than most songs on the album, but it has enough emotion to keep it from being as upbeat as Blinded is.

The drumming on the track Time just won’t let up. It sounds good on recording, but I wonder how it would sound live. I imagine Alan stealing the show when performing this otherwise great song live. Stranger brings the compilation back to that Gin Blossoms sound one last time before the final two tracks.

The compilation ends with the two earliest tracks on the album. Both Open Your Eyes and Long Time Waiting were recorded in 2011. Though they are the earliest tracks featured, they don’t necessarily sound elementary in terms of song writing. In fact, both songs are just as well written, if not better, than all other songs on Back and Forth. Open Your Eyes is a slower song, probably the slowest paced song on the album, which adds for a good change while the last track, Long Time Waiting, is a well crafted, subtly multi-parted song. It starts off slow but changes format about a minute-and-a-half in for one last shot at perfecting that 90’s sound for the 21s Century.

Morning Fame makes song writing seem natural, while it really is a tough task. All members of the band seem to play off well with each other and seem to feel very comfortable and loose. While I’ve done a lot of comparing with other artists, I do enjoy the sound that Morning Fame seem to have achieved on their own.

ALBUM HIGHLIGHT

Cast Away” –­ I’m not typically comfortable picking a highlight from a compilation. I typically write about compilations that feature new tracks and pick the best of the new tracks. While it is true that Cast Away is one of the new tracks off of Back and Forth, there is much more to it. It really is the highlight of the album because it features many elements heard throughout Back and Forth and it shows that the band has not lost their touch when it comes to writing great songs.

FINAL RATING

(Out of 10)

Track List:

The Golden One 4:39
Cast Away 4:24
The Colour Of Sound 5:51
Turn To Stone 3:36
Jokers Game 4:48
Blinded 3:47
Something On My Mind 3:29
Time 5:34
Stranger 3:42
Open Your Eyes 4:28
Long Time Waiting 5:01
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