Listening In: The Morning After / Bottles & Bones

You almost wanna tell these kids to slow down... I'm wary not to wear out the cliched descriptor of a "road-trip-record," but this one deserves consideration in said-category simply because its foot is planted firmly on the rhythmic/riffage accelerator for the first eight of its 10 tracks. But Morning After distinguishes itself from being any ol' college-rock revivalist romp if only by dint of those thick, Beatles-esque harmonies. (Cliche # 2).

Now these kids (...a term used with no disrespect, ...its just that neither of them is even 24 yet, c'mon) are currently featured in one of the big Detroit papers this afternoon - a prop for this very album.


At this very moment, they're somewhere down in the peopled depths of sweaty Austin TX, pinballing off of hundreds of other bands, guitars strapped to their backs as they busk around for their first proper SXSW sets. And I'm no more being disingenuous to employ the hack-ish "Beatles"-esque adjective - ...because none of these...guys, men, went to music school or even had proper voice lessons - but you'd never know it - and you have their obsessive spins-and-re-spins (and re-spins) of Beatles records to thank for that ...

 Now, they've rooted around the sunny pop-rock room for a whole album-and-EP's worth of songs - on Morning, things get grander in scope - they embrace the distortion pedal, they embrace drums-at-the-speed-of-punk, and they open up to letting songs expand into flourished movements, building into more complex b-sections and barrel-rolling comfortably, almost organically (cliche # 3), into ballady-territories.

But seriously, listen to the last 91 seconds of "What I've Seen" and it's like three-gracefully-jittery rock jams smooshed into one. This album lets loose and seems to soar out down some endless highway with a big sky, bursting out with the vigor of the riffs and relentless whirl of the hooks in opener "Don't Turn My Love Down..."

(Get some listening done here...)

Just consider your ingredients - weaned on sanctified pop masters (be it Mop-Tops or Motown), minds-opened through deconstructionists like The Flaming Lips and Radiohead, and then seasoned and simmered by the influential-echo-chamber of their last 2-years' spent bouncing around this verdant scene of songcrafters. Morning is an energetic anthology of a band that's finally found out where it's going...and going there in a hurry.


Meanwhile, today is also the birthday of rapper Benjamin Miles ...and I mention that because he's part of a new album you might want to hear. Part-of, yes, Miles is just one talented component of seven other musicians/writers/performers:  Of Mice & Musicians - a band Miles admits that most anyone would have a hard time trying to pin down... Three EmCees, a guitar, bass, drums, scratched/sampled turntables, a piano, a brass section... rap - prog-rock - spaced-out-bebop reconstructions - hip-hop - reggae-spliced-indie-pop... This is one of those all-over-the-place-/-everything-at-once-bands (...Cliche # 4, sorry)...

The group is releasing its 2nd full length album Bottles & Bones on April 1st. They're performing a proper release show on April 7th - backed by Passalacqua, House Phone, Detroit CYDI, and Clear Soul Forces at The Northern Lights Lounge.

Shit, that's a summit of progressive beatmakers, rap-slingers, and soul-pop dabblers right there - a staggering sampling of groups, just like Of Mice & Musicians, who are bending (breaking) the binds of genre-categorization and embracing eclectic, even weird-, new ideas when it comes to songwriting and performance.

Listen: Of Mice & Musicians...

When it comes to the balance of all these sensibilities, whether it be funk, soul, space-rock or hip-hop - then you can put in Bottles & Bones and just hit the Randomizer-button for your track-playback - any song will likely be an exemplary display of their kaleidoscopic musical flavors. ...That's also assuming anyone in InternetWorld still gets CDs and, thus, has that ol' tyme "randomizer" button... This band was born out of the frayed edges of four (maybe even five) other bands - and the recorded results is the stimulating results of 7 experimental minds working as one...

Hear more (and watch some) HERE.

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