Talking Through Tin Cans (1 Records)
At least a gazillion reviews have already called The Morning Benders "boyish" and "youthful." Visually, they probably had founder and frontman Chris Chu in mind. But after he sings the chorus for the third time on "Patient Patient," you know this man is grown. At this point his chutzpah as a vocalist hits you full force (I swooned; perhaps you will have a different reaction). His songwriting skills are also way more advanced than someone who looks like he just exited the womb. From the beginning of many of the songs on Talking Through Tin Cans though, it is Julian Harmon's drums that win you over. Seriously toe tapping, I found myself swaying like a dork to every other track, because Harmon has an excellent way of varying the song with his beats when you least expect it. The Morning Benders definitely have their share of youthful charm, definitely more the cheek-pinching kind than the mischievous type. The line, "Either give me what I want/Or put me on the street," is about resignation, not resistance. And that is exactly what makes Chu and the boys so appealing. -C.V.