Released: 23rd September
The result of growing up on the hard streets of the North, surrounded by faces and souls even colder than the biting winds, Morain is a four-piece band formed in 2009 by close friends with the mission of, in the words of vocalist/guitarist Wil Frost: “We are all best friends, and we play music because it’s what we love to do. We just want to play the best shows, write the best songs, and make the best music we possibly can.”
And they’ve definitely achieved that goal. Plying their trade on the same circuit that helped launch The Cribs, the band has quickly developed a loyal and burgeoning following. After playing a series of acclaimed and explosive live-shows, the band’s commendation rose even further and led to them being signed by Brightblack Records in 2010. Most bands would let this go to their heads, getting signed after a year of being together, but the boys in Morain are more intelligent than that – rather than spouting bragging rights everywhere, they’ve let their music do the talking.
Influenced by bands as diverse as Brand New, The Smiths, Minus The Bear and Taking Back Sunday and made up by Wil Frost (vocals/guitar), Sam Humble (bass), Jim Allard (guitar) and Jamie Matax (drums), the band’s sound is soaringly anthemic, irrepressibly tight and addictively engaging. Are We Lost is their debut EP and much like the literal meaning of a moraine – a moraine is any glacially formed accumulation of unconsolidated glacial debris (soil and rock) which can occur in currently glaciated and formerly glaciated regions. Moraines may also occur when glacier – or iceberg-transported rocks – fall into a body of water as the ice melts – the band are plunged into our ears and minds just like a glacier falling into water. Immediate and melting into the water, just like our brains, until they’re forever a part of the cycle.
Are We Lost has a fragile, steady opening which grows and grows until the chorus explodes in. The vocals of Frost are elegant and welcoming, the guitars winding and curtailing away, allowing the solid, robust bass-line to duck in and out. The drums push onto the other instruments, making for a complete yet unravelling track which holds your attention all the way through. This track has all the attributes to be a favourite for years to come, a track which you’ll re-visit time and time again.
Animals is a track that climbs and winds around your senses. The thick, bouncing bass-line; veering and commanding guitar; firm and constant drumbeat and Frost’s soothing and engaging vocal style ensures that this is another track you’ll find hard to forget. Not as anthemic as the first track, but it’ll still find home with you as the EP goes on.
The World We Live In starts with Frost declaring that he’ll ‘re-arrange these letters in alphabetical order just to know who I am,’ while a summery guitar riff sprays the recesses of the song with sunshine. When the chorus hits, it’s an uppercut and leaves you for a 10-count. The bass pounds, the drums smash and the guitar and vocals have the swagger of a Muhammad Ali or Prince Naseem; staring you right in the eyes, their own charisma jolting through you like a shock of electricity.
Between These Lines has an elastic bass-line that stretches and snaps all the way through. Combine this with a vibrant, shooting guitar and a spattered drumbeat and you have perhaps the most rhythmical track on offer that scratches at all your fidgeting bones. It’s hard to think of an empty dancefloor while listening to this song and it sounds as if it’d be a great track live, too. The whole accessibility and fun that the track has – in abundance – is sure to see the band letting loose on stage and urging the crowd to join in.
For a debut EP, Morain have shown here that they’re a band not to be taken lightly. They have all the aspects of a band who could go on to much bigger things and if they keep this impressive level of musicianship up on their full-length, it’ll be hard to argue against them breaking out of the scene any time soon.