Words by Alex Napoliello
Last summer, I ventured to Brooklyn from my New Jersey home to see one of my favorite bands, Modest Mouse, play at the Williamsburg waterfront (an outdoor venue). I’ve seen Mouse at least 10 times and throughout the years, I’ve had the opportunity to see Isaac Broc’s new talent perform as an opening act. For those of you who don’t know, Broc now runs a Portland, Oregon-based record label called Glacial Pace. On the roster are Brooklyn-natives Love As Laughter and Marcellus Hall, Mimicking Birds, Mason Jennings and Morning Teleportation, the most recent addition to the label.
On this particular day in Brooklyn, Morning Teleportation opened for Modest Mouse and they wound up being the headlining act that night due to inclement weather. Mouse was rushed off stage after just four songs because of a nearby lightning storm, but to tell you the truth, I wasn’t all that upset. Yeah I missed the opportunity to see one of my favorite group of performers, however, I discovered a great new band, Morning Teleportation.
Expanding Anyway, the Kentucky native’s debut LP, is just as exciting and fresh as their live performance. Their youthful vibrancy shines throughout the album and takes you on a whirlwind of experimental expertise, lightning-quick guitar chops and vocals that are rough enough to knock you down, yet melodic enough to catch your fall at the same time.
The opening track, “Boom Puma,” is a heavy, guitar-driven song with a Frampton-like touch of the talk box. “Snow Frog vs. Motor Cobra” is the ultimate ballad, pitting a deranged arrangement of horn and keys against a mash of electric brilliance and robotic-like vocals. The single off the debut (and the title track), “Expanding Anyway,” is a melodic masterpiece with catchy hooks that will suck you right in.
“Daydream Electric Storm” and “Just A Figment” bring out an eclectic, folky side of the band, while the nine-minute “Wholehearted Drifting Sense of Inertia” and the six-and-a-half minute “Treble Chair” take you through a psychedelic trance that somehow finds a way to snap back to reality in the end.
There is never a dull moment on Expanding Anyway. From track one-to-12, Morning Teleportation displays the versatility of each member – Tiger Merritt may be the ringleader in this operation, but he certainly doesn’t steal the show. Trust Isaac Broc’s judgment. He struck gold at SubPop while he was the A&R man, signing Wolf Parade in 2004. Now, on his own, I think he may have another gem on his hands.
Glacial Pace Recordings
© March 8, 2011
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