Everything about Morning Parade's debut album screams "we want to be huge". The English five-piece, hailing from Harlow, Essex, craft anthemic, stadium ready alt-rock that is expertly polished, leaving little to differentiate themselves from the hundreds of other bands who do this exact same thing. It boils down to the strength of the songs and it is there that they won me over.
Released in March in the UK, their self titled release now makes its way to the States. I doubt there will be much middle ground with the album, hipster snobs will thumb their noses at material this pristinely produced, and normally something this blatantly aimed at becoming the 'Next Big Thing' would turn me off too honestly. Morning Parade won't be lauded for originality or incredibly complex, challenging music. But the world needs hugely melodic stadium rock too and they do it so well, I can't resist it.
The music here has everything needed for maximum accessibility. Huge choruses tailor made for singing along to, driving beats and guitars and miles upon miles of melodies. "Blue Winter", "Carousel" and "Headlights" front load the album with some of the best material, alternative rock with a fair share of electronic elements mixed in. There are, of course, a pair of stellar power ballads included, "Monday Morning" and my personal favorite, "Running Down The Aisle".
If I have any complaint about Morning Parade's debut album, it is almost too flawlessly produced. You can tell all efforts were made to ensure this becomes a big hit and it sometimes leaves you wishing for a bit more spontaneity and rougher edges. I'm sure there will be a fair share of reviews that take potshots at this album and anyone who doesn't find the whole thing massively calculated. To that I have a big fat 'so what?' The songs are solid, the hooks are many and "Morning Parade" is a winner.
"Morning Parade" is released in the U.S. June 19, 2012 on the Astralwerks label.