Thursday, March 16, 2006

Morning Runner – Wilderness Is Paradise Now (Parlophone)

It’s not a great time for new bands. Not that there aren’t any – here at The Sloppy Dog, we’re doing proverbial backflips at the promise of some up-and-comers. But sadly, gutter-quality critics and DJs are still bouncing in puddles of their own warm piss at the existence of hype-in-a-freezer-bag, Clearasil-allergic, aural diarrhoea merchants the Arctic Monkeys, hence Morning Runner’s current position, annoyingly just under the radar of greatness.

After a mezze of pleasing singles, this album feels well and truly due, but truth be told, we’d rather be enduring the itch of these hideous belter headphones to listen to The Feeling or The Upper Room. But even fighting the natural urge to be pessimistic, Wilderness Is Paradise Now is, all in all, a rather nice little assortment, operating first and foremost as an illustration of the differentiating bow strings of Morning Runner.

The unrefined charm of Be All You Want Me To Be and Punching Walls is countered by the ornamental warmth of Burning Benches and Best For You. Fear not though – the wistful twinkles are few and far between, and any uncomfortable David Gray moments soon blast into a dramatic upsurge.

It’s all very pleasantly listenable, and yet leaves you wanting something amazing to happen. Imitating the band’s success perched on the wrong side of mahoosive, Wilderness Is Paradise Now is just short of crossing into significance. Unremarkable, but solid, and surely the stirrings of a whole lot more - Arctic Monkeys implosion pending.

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