written by: June 21, 2012
Release Date: June 12th, 2012


When The Morning Benders decided to do a bit of a 180, it didn’t come without its tornado of drama. Remember the band who sang folksy rhythms with light production elements? Well, they’re no more, and whether you like it or not, they’re cheating on your favorite genre. And their ex-genre is pissed off!

POP ETC, the band formerly known as The Morning Benders, clearly plays off their new name, working together a sort of unfinished indie vibe with selective spins on pop and rock n’ roll here and there. This tactic has left all options open for their expressiveness with their rather nondescript label for themselves, though it has fans on either spectrum in a hissy fit.

The Brooklyn trio, though, found a medium to make music in a completely different direction regardless of betrayal to their fanbase. Their previously soothing talents now work well with the right combination of electronic and traditional elements, spinning the right use of electric piano, pop beats and even some layered auto-tune for the right feeling of undiscovered glory that we weren’t expecting. They expertly utilize blast-from-the-past antics like heavy drum beats and synth chimes, and listeners will be delighted to find that it continues for the album’s entire eleven tracks. The eccentricity expands but the style remains united.

But unlike whatever’s charting on the pop tables as of now, the band can still write bubblegum tracks but actually fill them with substantial girth, tying in thematic material instead of fill-in-the-blank forgettables. This is where POP ETC finds success, and as we mentioned before, will find it again.

Perhaps eventually POP ETC will end up headlining for the biggest acts in the future, because at this rate, they’ve established a really great place for their already-awesome music to grow.

“R.Y.B.,” which stands for “Rock Your Body” contains quite the collection of noises, altogether forming an anthem that’ll make you high on life and cause you to itch to go outside.

Aside from short moments where the effects cause POP ETC’s message to become unclear, their self-titled debut runs freely without any bumps in the road. We hear their strong softer side as well as their supremely dedicated pumped-up loose rhythms.

In “Why’d You Do It Honey” the band proves that they can do more than just have a good time with their music production. This wrestles with more serious content, delving into jealousy and betrayal just as “I Wanna Be Your Man” talks of lust and imagination, encapsulated by smoky vocals and snaps between glittery glimpses of percussion interlude. It’s hot and beaming with feel-good energy one hundred percent.

POP ETC is closed with “Yoyo,” hammering out a sound like Prince and the pop writing energy like something from The Backstreet Boys, but only in the best way. It’s vintage all the way, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s noise like this­–so wonderful, so happy, so indulgent–that’ll have you coming back to it tomorrow, and years from now when you’re missing that fabulous flavor.

POP ETC – POP ETC tracklist:

  1. “New Life”
  2. “Back To Your Heart”
  3. “Halfway To Heaven”
  4. “Keep It For Your Own”
  5. “Live It Up”
  6. “Everything Is Gone”
  7. “R.Y.B.”
  8. “Why’d You Do It Honey”
  9. “I Wanna Be Your Man”
  10. “C-O-M-M-U-N-I-C-A-T-E”
  11. “Yoyo”