Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Patrick Stolley
So experienced the young man, first, before all else that he thought he could then speak intelligently about afterwards, the great caper that is the search for love and its hanging, very much alive vines - vines that could one moment be lying dead to all those not paying close attention and the next be wrapping savagely around ankles and holding them hostage. Before he experienced any of the numerous other adult behaviors, downfalls, disappointments, advantages or good tidings, he experienced the dervish of those fickle and fleeting, convoluted matters of the heart muscle.
They're connected to the funny bone, the tear ducts, the fists and the feet, those matters and all at the same time - or within a very short amount of time - simultaneously and can come into the picture and create a wild smear across an otherwise unaffected person, wiping them out or into a bit of a blubberer. It was the first strong emotion that the young man found himself upset and bewildered by. Nothing's changed since the beginning of these times, as people have been washed right into the silly silo, configured into the saps and the targets, or just simply: the stricken. There is only one way to fall into love - by doing it - but there are millions upon millions of ways to reconcile that love and to deal with that love that's been so accidentally backed into. The Morning Benders, a sun-soaked four-piece from Berkley, Calif., home of professional protesters and more tree huggers than you can shake a stick at - not to mention all of the well-read and foul-smelling hippies with curb side manner, are the very young men that we've been speaking of. They are already experts - to some degrees - of love in the first degree. Perhaps you don't remember it, but think back to the first time that you turned the key in a car's ignition slot and the machine roared to life in front of you, or even when you were given the okay to strike a match to the red stripe of a matchbook, to light your first fire. Combine those feelings of exasperated power and multiply them by a hundred or more and it's the way it feels to be either adored or ignored by that first girl that sways your insides, that gets them drunk on nothing more than a lingering scent or a feathery glance.
The Morning Benders, led by Chris Chu of the Sondre Lerche-meets-British pop savant vocals, go sloshing through those dangerous streets of love, getting their shoes and the bottoms of their pant legs drippy with what they encounter. They are scientists in the field, witnessing all of the dilemmas and doldrums, the dry spells and the hot streaks that people get themselves bundled up into all the stinkin' time. They see the ways that others are affected and they feel the ways that they are affected and then they attach those tendons and ligaments to make their own pennies of sense out of it. Chu sings, "I've seen love kick a man while he's down," during "I Was Wrong" and it's a clear indication that he's studying and bringing home in his notebook all of the little anecdotes that he can mine for inspiration in finally figuring out the skeleton key solutions to all of the sneaky problems and situations that love brings with it when it arrives unannounced. The songs on the band's recently released Talking Through Tin Cans are romantic and dreamy, idyllic pop songs that are the new beach blanket bingo types, where a good tan, a voice to melt an armored truck, tunes that are the very aesthetic of swooning breezes and free time mean that more of that love is going to strike and strike again.