I’m not sure about you, but I’ve been waiting years for this CD to come out. Ever since way back in the day when the world was all Choking Victim this and Leftover Crack (rock steady) that, I’ve been looking forward to hearing more from Morning Glory. Well about ten long years after the bands formation and nearly as many since I was listening to “This Is No Time Ta Sleep” and “The Whole World Is Watching”, there is finally something new for me to jam into my ears.
“Poets Were My Heroes” is the brand new full length from Morning Glory. You might be familiar with the band if you are familiar with front man Ezra Kire’s past projects, the aforementioned Choking Victim and Leftover Crack as well as InDK, or perhaps not. Morning Glory presents a more orchestrated and compellingly complex example of sounds perpetuated by the other bands; more anthemic and more epic.
The new release consists of “official” tracks, 1 – 13 and an unlisted track. They are all, seriously, stellar. The overall sound blends more common place punk and ska beats and riffs with sing-a-long chorus melodies and eerie horn stabs. Overall the effect is pretty damned impressive. The arrangement flows well from each track to the next, building, swelling, subsiding, and continually progressing until the album culminates in the alarmingly sincere, not unlike a shockingly sober Shane McGowan, vocals and piano of the final track, “Care of Me”. (I have it on good faith that the whole CD was opted just based on this track.)
To close, this album is one of those rare classics that exemplify the idea of being more than the sum of its parts. Each piece builds together to form a whole that is, thus far, the best release of 2012.
For fans of: Chocking Victim, InDK, Team Spider
01. Stevie Dinner
02. Everything’s A Song (To Me)
03. Shelter From The Spoon
04. Poets Were My Heroes
05. March Of The Asylum
06. Quemar Las Fronteras
07. Divide By
08. Orphan’s Holiday
11. Life’s A Long Revenge
12. Another Way (Outside The Walls Of Eden)
13. Born To December
14. Care Of Me
It seems like quite a long time ago when I was shipped my first Slackers CD to review. It in fact was almost 8 years ago. I’m happy to report that I’ve got the new Slackers CD in my hot little hands. (It is actually in my CD player, as I felt it a more appropriate place.) I’ll be updating this review as I have the time, but for the moment, let’s just say the CD has some power.
With style grace and persistence, The Slackers are the heart soul and backbone of the New York ska scene. Peculiar is an exceptional release of the genre. To capture the intensity of their live shows, the band went to the legendary Ernesto's in Holland to cut the core of the tracks in front of a packed live audience. After recording all the new "live" tracks the band went back to the studio and stripped the rhythm tracks and performed vocals and horns and added guest assistance by contemporaries like Alex Desert of Hepcat and Jeff "King Django" Baker.
I commend the Slackers for their innovative approach to the new album. The combination of live energy and studio polish brings a whole new level to the life of the record. Adding to the intensity of "Peculiar" is the socially and politically aware vibe, much akin to the voice of dissent found in the reggae of the 70's.
Songs like Propaganda and International War Criminal decry current political scandal and portray the discomfort and discontent with the current management if you will. "Peculiar" is a brilliant blend of ska reggae and rocksteady raising a voice of concern to the current state of affairs.
Don't let me misguide you though; the album isn't entirely political so much that is an assessment of life, a bit of a State of Life Address. "Peculiar" brings hope for the true ska fans and fans of great music everywhere that not all hope is lost.