“Portland’s Hello Morning paints its modern rock in aural colors of swirling sustained notes, evoking images of both yellow-white sunrises and orange-red dusks. Like U2, Coldplay, the Killers and Muse, you can “see” Hello Morning’s songs as much as hear them…” – Portland Tribune
“I really do like that… a rather wonderful pop/rock ethic which I think is fresh as hell, even though it’s got a reminiscent quality to it… a little bit Ting Tings… a little bit Pink Floyd… like a heavier version of Turin Brakes… a really interesting sound.” - WOXY radio
4 1/2 out of 5 stars – The gentlemen of Hello Morning are no aliens to the world of music. In fact, the members separately made a name for themselves early on while performing in other bands such as Jonah, Smalltown Poets, Sappo, Boy Eats Drum Machine, and Chris Robley & the Fear of Heights. But it wasn’t until 2007 that they finally came together to form Hello Morning. Now, three years since the band was officially founded, the guys from Portland, Oregon have completed their self titled debut EP and are copiously equipped to make a distinct avowal.
The EP opens up with “Come Home.” With the song’s earth-shattering hook, fervent bassline, clashing cymbals, and beguiling melody, the band easily sets a new standard for the type of music that will get live audiences roaring. After the flourishing composition of “Coldbreakers” and the nostalgia-laden “Everything Is You,” “Mercury (Once Again)” keeps the musicality proudly bellowing while allowing Henry Curl’s hearty vibrato to truly transcend.
When your ears finally reach what is easily the EP’s most anomalous track – strewn with a repetitive tribal drum pattern and speckled with jingling, twinkling instruments – it almost feels as if you’re lost in a delusional daydream. When “Everglades” gets into full swing, you seem to be running endlessly through an indefinite blur of God knows what (use your imagination), but the next thing you know, the chorus has kicked in; all of a sudden you’re moving in slow motion smack-dab in the middle of a Coldplay video – except this isn’t Coldplay. When the chorus comes to a break and the song transitions its way back to a lull, you’re instantly sent back into the muddied, hurried haze where you’ll now find that you’ve probably slipped into somewhat of a trance (and a good one at that).
Released on Timber Carnival Records, Hello Morning’s unveiling compilation is the epitome of eminent stadium rock; think Keane with a dash of U2 but with way more gusto. The band has a keen sense of musical brilliance as well as an undeniable knack for producing avant-garde compositions while merging them with the quintessential fundamentals of anthemia. Whether it’s with the use of space-agey moog synths or a plethora of surging guitars, if there’s one thing that definitely makes this project worthwhile, it’s the band’s fearlessness to experiment. This is virtuosity at its best.
“Hello Morning may drop TV on the Radio and Blonde Redhead as influences, but its nods to (Bends-era) Radiohead and U2 are what come through the clearest: The quarter’s music is dramatic, earnest and ultimately rocking. But Hello Morning’s debut EP—with pitch-perfect dual-guitar interplay and powerful vocals from Henry Curl (ex-Jonah)—seems, at times, almost too competent. The band does everything well, and that makes it hard to distinguish Hello Morning tracks from those of similarly minded pop groups around the globe. Benjamin Sims’ distorted keyboard lines on “Come Home” and a couple tricky compositions (like the five-plus-minute closer “Everglades”) help correct the band’s course into something more unique, but one still comes away feeling as if they’ve heard this one before. That said, there are very few victorious, uplifting rock bands on the Portland scene these days—let alone those who, like Hello Morning, can really play.”
Casey Jarman Willamette Week, Portland OR
“Lucky attendees of Hello Morning’s CD release show get to take home a free copy of Hello Morning’s self-titled debut EP. It’s a collection of brawny, accessible rock with epic flourishes, like a pre-ironic U2 or a more down-to-earth the Secret Machines. Each member of the band has done plenty of time in other outfits, including local bands like Jonas and Boy Eats Drum Machine, and this collective experience gives each song a sure-footed confidence that allows every song to be approached and appreciated at face value. Songs like “Come Home” or “Mercury (Once Again)” sit in that ear-pleasing valley between catchy and yearning, sounding familiar and new at the same time.”
NL Portland Mercury, Portland, OR
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