Now, I’m not completely heartless, but clichéd sentiment just isn’t my thing. And it’s a recurring theme on Morning Parade’s debut album.
Although I’d probably be embarrassed to even buy this album for someone else, I’m not totally opposed to the sound. This five-piece from Essex are clearly competent, if not remotely adventurous, musicians.
The opener, ‘Blue Winter’, is a moody, yet catchy, track. It’s not actually too bad, particularly once you hear the next song…
‘Headlights; is, for me, too full of harmonious backing vocals singing ‘Ahhh’. It’s also very predictable and better suited to teenage girls. Ironically enough though, it sports the line ‘And like the early morning headlines/I am all too predictable’, which struck me as pretty original.
Morning Parade actually pop up with some decent lyrics every now and again.
‘Running Down The Aisle’ opens with ‘Remember me, tenderly/Show me to the bar/Champagne please, half empty’. Subverting the idea of a wedding being the happiest day of someone’s life is at least less soppy: ‘Tell them to keep their bed of roses’. It also shows that Morning Parade aren’t necessarily aiming to provide music exclusively for heartwarming Rom Coms soundtracks. The discordant instrumentals towards the end of the song play their part too, reinforcing the theme of things being bitter rather than completely tickety-boo.
The next track has some interesting lines too, notably the chorus: “Here tonight we cross the border/That divides us and ourselves”. And it’s actually quite a listenable song.
Too often though, they turn back to clichés. Like the worst kind of repetitive fairground ride, “Carousel” made me feel a bit ill. The line that sticks out like an ugly sore thumb is ‘I long for the smell of your hair’. Here they start to sound slightly like a muted version of 30 Seconds To Mars, particularly when they use periods of quiet, giving undue prominence to their lyrics.
Discovering that ‘Under The Stars’ featured on The Vampire Diaries (a series for those who want to see teens giving each other overly enthusiastic love bites between Twilight films) was the last part of the emo jigsaw. It’s an odd mix of 80s synth and 90s dance music, but doesn’t sound too bad. And then lead singer Steve Sparrow chimes in: ‘I’m gonna set my sights/I’m gonna set your soul alight under the stars, under the stars’. At best it’s unimaginative.
If, like many bands before them, their best album is their first, I really don’t want to hear Morning Parade’s second album.