Spun: The Morning Benders

By Andy Williams

The Morning Benders were to perform their first show ever in Japan at the beginning of March, but it was cancelled when the horrific tsunami hit Japan. It was a significant show for the group — frontman Chris Chu, who was born in Japan, was looking forward to performing at home for the first time. In response to tragic disaster, the band released the Japan Echo EP, a collection of unreleased B-sides and remixes by industry heavyweights like Twin Sister and RAC. A hundred per cent of the proceeds go to relief efforts in Japan.

The two new B-Sides — “Little Riot” and “Better in Blue” — are interesting explorations, but aren’t as good as the material found on their most recent LP Big Echo. The remixes really shine though. The RAC re-imagination of “Excuses” — the Phil Spector-esque wall of sound that was the highlight of Big Echo — is truly great. Where the original felt like it was from another era, the RAC remix has been reinterpreted with an entirely modern musical vocabulary and it’s a high point of Japan Echo. The Star Slinger Remix of “Promises” and the Twin Sister remix of “Mason Jar” are both wonderful too.

It’s a shame that more bands don’t release really well-edited collections like this. It’s refreshing to see a band embrace all the remixing that inevitably happens.

Andy Williams

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