Album review: Morning Parade

May 27, 2012, 08:41 IST | Lindsay Pereira

Radio-friendly: Two awful words that guarantee sales while often ensuring a band's best work stays locked away on unreleased tapes.

 It’s easy to imagine this state of affairs with Morning Parade, a five-piece act from Essex (a.k.a. where Damon Albarn and Depeche Mode come from).

There’s nothing wrong with this self-titled debut at all. As a matter of fact, much of it — tracks such as Carousel, Running Down The Aisle, and album opener Blue Winter — is positively made for live performance before a stadium audience. Then again, that may be part of the problem. One is left with little to remember Morning Parade by, a mere 20 minutes after the final track, Born Alone fades into the ether.

Here’s another thing about that ‘radio-friendly’ tag — it all starts to blur into one interminable track rather quickly. In the process, one risks spending less time on stuff like Close To Your Heart, where lead singer Steve Sparrow sings: ‘Jump off of the edge, stop picking apart your head, let tonight unfold, break out of the cast, stop digging up the past, let tonight unfold…’ It’s an infectious tune, on which the musicians sound as if it’s one of their favourites too.

Then there’s Monday Morning, towards the end of the album: ‘Well, hello Monday’s calling, try and talk your way out of this one, it’s just motorways of empty cars, full speed stop and starts, but I’m sleeping on your shoulder, trying to forget everything that weighs you down.’ Half-precocious, half-pretentious, it is saved from the hell that Coldplay now belong to by the sheer depth of feeling put into those lyrics.

There may be a great album hidden in the vaults, but Morning Parade appears to have bowed down to industry diktats. The band may have kept its best music hidden.

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