CD REVIEW: Morning Fame - Voyager (Compilation CD)
by: Cyrus Rhodes
Artist/Band: Morning Fame
Voyager (Compilation CD)
Genre: Alternative Rock, Psychedelic Rock,
Sounds Like: Red Rider, Rush, The Police, Incubus, Smashmouth, The Fixx, Outfield, Toad the Wet Sprocket
Weakness: EP Release. More Solos, Winded Songs
Morning Fame is an alternative rock band that defines what happens when four uniquely talented and passionate musicians come together and develop a strong musical chemistry. The band has built its sound around crafting memorable and meaningful songs with the ringing arpeggiated guitar style of Joe Liranzo, the plaintive vocals of Vik Kapur, the intricate drum lines of Al Dennis and the melodic bass lines of Rob Gilberti. Morning Fame's music creates a mood that is perfect for anyone who really "listens" to music rather than enjoys it in the background. In late 2011 the band recorded their first EP titled ‘A Lasting Place’ at the world-renowned Revolution Studios. Due to the great response of the album, the band has just recorded "The Colour of Sound," "Turn to Stone," and "Joker's Game" as part of the compilation "Back and Forth," which includes songs from "A Lasting Place."
The CD quickly takes to flight with rocking intro piece “Dreamality”. This song serves up infectious rocked out musical ambience, against mesmerizing vocals, rocked out guitar, dynamic musical flow meshed against driving rock rhythm that gently leads you by the hand down the path of melodic musical indulgence. Track 2 “Cast Away” shifts gears a bit with its methodical intro, impressive guitar ambience, rock solid alternative rock vibe via infectious vocals flair from Kapur. Track 3 “The Golden One” is an impressive melodic rock piece full of dynamics that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. By track 3 this EP hits solid stride delivering many impressive songs back to back. To me Morning Fame sounds like harder more psychedelic version of Smashmouth, Incubus, Outfield and The Fixx. This CD however sounds like something released in the 90’s. As the EP slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of a classic Rush, The Police and Red Rider. I would classify this music as Alternative Rock and Melodic Progressive Rock aftertaste that goes down clean with an eccentric Psychedelic Rock flair. I can also hear some classic rock influences in there from say R.E.M. and Toad the Wet Sprocket. The EP at times presents brilliant peak and valley flow from all players. EP showcases strong musicianship from all involved. Besides the four piece standard you will also notice rich layers of melodic rhythm guitar, lush harmonies, low end beats, sonic vocals, solo guitar and enticing melodies - all built on a thick as a brick rhythmic foundation. Kapur showcases and impressive yet even keeled vocal skill-set throughout. His vocal delivery is pretty solid across the board as Kapur and company are clearly letting it all hang out in an impassioned way with this release. I really enjoyed the melodic and dynamic guitar playing from Joe Liranzo. All engineering aspects check out. EP possesses solid low end punch and crystal clear high end clarity - but sounds like a vintage 90’s rock recording. Kapur has an effective baritone and timbre. All vocal harmonies are effective and well placed. Morning Fame have clearly proves themselves with this latest release. They all possess solid musical instincts. During my initial research I discovered this band is quite the hot topic live. Playing live, these lads dish out a cosmic fury and induces the same in their audience. It’s hard, it’s heavy, it’s rock and roll, re-imagined and reinvigorated. This 4 song EP has something for just about everyone and ends with Track 5 "The Colour of Sound” the perfect finale statement for an EP like this.
I wish there were more guitar solos like on Track 1. I typically deduct 1 star for EP releases, as the full length CD is the most complete snapshot to judge an artist by. Cover art is a bit lacking and overly generic. All songs over 5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. I am assuming based on the the statement on the front cover "A Musical Journey through the best of Morning Fame" this is a greatest hit package of sorts. Well it's a very, very, very short journey and the shortest greatest hits package I've ever come across with only 4 tracks. All of this is a bit confusing and unorthodox..
"The Compilation EP" by Morning Fame is an impassioned, compelling musical journey. This band is making waves in Canada a reason. The strong suit of this EP is its amazing writers touch and consistent song for song musical flow. Kapur and the gang get high marks from me for delivering a primarily rock based EP while keeping a ultra-clear Alternative Rock edge - nice touch. This EP will be a real joy for those listeners out there who like Alternative rock from the 90's to fill their atmosphere. This straight forward, easy to digest melodic musical format makes for a great musical experience many will enjoy beyond Canada. I recommend you just hit play, close your eyes and see where the journey takes you.