Somewhere in recent memory, two such grassroots genres as indie and country went multi-platinum. Conclusive proof that the genres have not so much infiltrated the mainstream as that the mainstream as infiltrated them are records such as Morganway.

In musically-sensitive (i.e. snobbish) company you can refer to it as alt-country. But, there’s no disguising the fact that this is 21st century fusion run amok.

The squeaky clean guitars across Morganway’s self-titled EP are a staple of the 2010’s bland indie-pop while the cavernous, reverb-drenched toms of a song like Devil’s Canyon could be an attempt at all-American tribalism. But the end result sounds more like a shot for the stadiums occupied by Mumford and Sons and their ilk.

It’s middle of the road, mid-paced, country pop-rock. The shimmering keyboards of My Love Ain’t Gonna Save You’s intro don’t send shivers down the spine or set goosebumps a-rising so much as cringes spasming through the body. Like The Eagles on one of their “farewell” tours.

‘Hurricane,’ the single, sounds a far-cry from the force of nature implied in the title. Twangy guitars, harmonies and cheesy shifts in dynamics make it sound more like a light California breeze than a life-threatening Louisiana gale.

The musical legacy of the U.S is firmly planted in pop-culture’s history. And Morganway is a sonic exploration of the dark side of americana.

Morganway are a band clearly enthralled with all things ‘merica. And, to quote On The Road, “with its big rank smell”…

Its false promises, its ‘statue of bigotry’ and its chronic decadence. This is the dark side of America, the side we see on the news and on Twitter. Not Lou Reed’s dope-addled transvestites.

‘My love ain’t gonna save you’ Morganway sing on track two. This love won’t anyway.

When it sounds so insincere as this, it wouldn’t save a child drowning in its large Coca-Cola. Shallow as the generation that spawned it, these are hymns to 21st century values.

Not that the lyrics espouse the values of looking skinny in your selfies or the virtues of a top-dollar career. No, it’s more insidious than that.

Slick as a 2nd hand car dealer’s soul, Morganway follows a road endlessly trudged by countless indie bands all over the western hemisphere. It’s the sound of a cash register’s “KA-CHING!” and the fumbling with change in a greasy till. The sound of a pack of domesticated young people cutting a record. That’s the word; domesticated.

by James Fleming

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