Mornin' Old Sport

Mornin' Old Sport

Misery Loves Co. Records, 2012

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


It wasn't that long ago that Berklee College Of Music kids Mornin' Old Sport started plugging away at a sound that was pretty much the opposite of what the world of indie rock was doing. While most of their peers were taking influences from The Clash or Fugazi, this Boston outfit was more content with showing their inspiration from Gene Autry, Doris Day, or Hank Williams. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Having already penned a couple of well-executed EPs, one appropriately titled Your Grandparents Will Jam To These Tracks, for the big jump to the full album, the band took their esteemed music degrees and applied it to a unique grab bag of folk, Americana, swing, jazz, ragtime, and good old fashioned rock 'n' roll.

The vintage listen leads off with “When The Bomb,” a tune that brings you back 100 years, sitting in a saloon while the cowboys park their horses out front. Though the country influence is most evident on a track like “Sweet Pea,” other cuts here are more pop and melodic in spirit, like on “Katie.” Most of the vocal work is taken up by Scott Nanos, whose healthy pipes even sound like the vinyl your grandpa has in storage. Offering a nice change, Kate Smeal lends her vocals on a few tracks, her selections being the more gentle and charming, even approaching lullaby territory with “Over The Moon.”  "Clementine" is Smeal's highlight here, a rustic, late night tune with gritty twang.

This is not what you'd expect from a trio of players in their twenties; Mornin' Old Sport describe their sound as 'neo pre-war Americana,’ the youngsters plucking away at songs with plenty of folk and country spirit. But it doesn’t necessarily always sound like a throwback. Tracks like "Put One Back" are comparable to the heaps of alt-country bands that exist today, and their lyrical subjects of death and love are, of course, timeless. All in all, this is a splendid first LP.

Rating: B

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© 2012 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Misery Loves Co. Records, and is used for informational purposes only.