It's hard not to recognize the musical similarities between Berkeley's The Morning Benders and 60's pop acts like the Beatles and Beach Boys, though others tie them to the contemporary sounds of the Shins. The band formed as front man Christopher Chu's solo project in 2005. To record his songs, Chu used a microphone and a laptop and released the EP "Loose Change" in 2006. He then invited several of his UC Berkeley classmates to join the band, which expanded to include bassist Timothy Or, drummer Julian Harmon and guitarist/organist Joseph Ferrell. The group released a 2007 EP called "Boarded Doors."
After the positive response to their EP, the band set out to record a full length album. They released "Talking Through Tin Cans" last May. Chu produced, engineered and mixed much of the album. The Benders signed to +1 Records which boasts a roster including the Kooks, Editors and Two Gallants. They play music that's enjoyable to listen to with smart lyrics; for instance, the song "Crosseyed" was written about the difficulties of monogamy in response to the relationship between characters Brenda and Nate in HBO's "Six Feet Under." Their interview with Daytrotter explores their insightful crafting of the lyrics and beats of their songs. Though the best thing about this band must really be the cover of the Cardigan's "Lovefool" on their Myspace page.
Like the Morning Benders? Then vote for them in the Indie Rock/Pop category of the SF Weekly Music Awards. Your deadline is Wednesday. --Melissa Baron