*featured photo by Dawn Wilson
War Psalms is the latest album to be released by Morning Glory and is the second full-length from the band to be released on the Fat Wreck Chords label. Coming in at just less than thirty-nine minutes with thirteen songs, the album’s name is also the theme for the entire album; where the band has gone after faulty police practices in the past this album deals mainly in the politics of never-ending war. This album is solid from the beginning to the end, with seamless transitions from one song to the next, sometimes making it seem as one long orchestral movement. The break between the first two tracks is almost unperceivable in a flawless progression between the songs.
Morning Glory continues to make great use of effects and sound bites, although the chanting style that has been used recurrently on other albums has been reduced overall. The band has retained it’s recent progressive orchestral evolution with this album. The production on other Morning Glory albums has been lacking at times, typical for DIY punk bands, but the band has moved away from its former crusty style over the years while the original sentiment of revolution remains intact.
War Psalms does an amazing job of using the production value of a large label whilst still sounding like a street punk band. Not enough can be said for the track “I Am Machine Gun.” The track is a perfect example of the musical evolution of the band in general; Ezra’s voice is haunting and melodic, the drum line is invigorating, but the remarkable use of trumpets and violins allows the track to become a literal symphony. “Punx Not Dead, I Am” has a fade-out that manages to replicate the sound of eardrums closing up, it’s impossible to describe but an amazing detail; this song manages to sum up the feelings of aging punks who are still out trying to make meaning and change in a meaningless world. Other noteworthy songs are “Know Your Wrongs” and the acoustic finale, “Home Free.” These are definitely tracks you’ll put on repeat, but the album is a complete success with every single song.
This album will have you feeling like Rocky running up the stairs, it will have you dancing in the streets, and you will want to occupy something by the time you’re done listening. War Psalms is a perfect follow-up to Poets Were My Heroes, with Morning Glory continuing to exponentially evolve as orchestral greats, whilst returning a bit to the political-charged themes we love them for.
War Psalms was just recently released on Fat Wreck Chords and is available in vinyl, CD and digital formats.