Review Summary: Expanding Anyway is a fun record that exhibits a group of musicians with a lot of promise and plenty of ambition.
It is always refreshing to see new talent that strives to be different. They make music that appeals to an audience but still allow for plenty of variation within each song. Morning Teleportation’s debut effort “Expanding Anyway” is one such record that offers listeners an indie-rock sound infused with many progressive elements. It is a bold offering, one that is risky and showcases the promise that the young band holds as well as the occasional misfire. Their brashness paid off, allowing them a record deal with Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock’s Glacial Pace label.
Opener “Boom Puma” sees frontman Tiger Merritt deliver some incoherent shouts over a frantically paced surf rock riff driving the melody. The song changes tempo mid-way to a more spacey atmosphere with Merritt switching to a hum that somehow serves its purpose well as an engaging melody accompaniment. It is this “rough around the edges” style that dominates the entire album. The schizophrenic nature of the album makes it hard to distinguish the songs from each other at times and things have a tendency to run together. Morning Teleportation embrace the sloppiness they exhibit on Expanding Anyway and seem comfortable with their widely contrasting styles. Drummer Tres Coker is the most consistent member, providing percussion that is spot on in accuracy during every track. They also tend to utilize a talk box guitar solo in a few songs and this trick gets a bit old after a while.
Regardless, there is enough here to keep the listener engaged for the full run time. “Snow Frog Vs. Motor Cobra” is a fun track that builds from a groovy horn movement into a psychedelic disco inspired chorus. The synth-lines are a fun addition that adds a weird layer to the mix. “Expanding Anyway” is catchy and sounds like it would have been right at home on a Modest Mouse album. “Banjo Disco” displays an infectious prog-laden folksy groove. The album boasts a couple lengthy psychedelic journeys such as the 9 minute “Wholehearted Drifting Sense of Inertia” and the 6 and a half minute “Treble Chair” that offer plenty of intrigue, the former being the best song on the record. Each member seems at their absolute best during the lengthier tracks, allowing them to show off their adeptness in a way that translates perfectly to their live show. This band was intended for a live audience full to the brim with young hipsters looking to dance to Morning Teleportation’s unique brand of spacey disco jam rock.
Despite being all across the board, Morning Teleportation maintain a sense of identity outside of the frantic nature of their music. Though the risks they take don’t always pan out for them, occasionally they do and it’s in those moments that these musicians truly shine. They’ve managed to create a unique sound that is both engaging and admirable. Expanding Anyway is a fun record that exhibits a group of musicians with a lot of promise and plenty of ambition.