Morning Glory is made up of the stuff that the gritty, punk-crust motherland of New York’s infamous Lower East Side has been known to spawn. This group of punkers and squatters had very humble beginnings indeed. Already in various other New York punk bands, Morning Glory first became the spark of an idea when Ezra Kire (Leftöver Crack, Choking Victim, INDK) took time off from touring and started to write some tunes in his NYC apartment. In 2001, with nothing but a drum machine and an 8-track reel-to-reel, Ezra wrote and recorded the songs that would become Morning Glory’s first LP, This Is No Time ta Sleep. Though it was self-recorded, home-released and had no touring support, it still managed to create a small but ubiquitous underground buzz. With a virtuosic range of musical elements – ska, punk, metal, and even some rhyming – its catchy, anthemic sing-alongs showcased Ezra’s flourishing writing talents. And while his lyrics stayed true to the caustic political edge of his other bands, the overall message remained more optimistic and leaned towards the humanistic, personal side of life.
In 2002, Ezra finally assembled a live band, handpicking musicians from the local NYC punk scene, including members of Nausea, World/Inferno Friendship Society and Stockyard Stoics. This lineup recorded the EP, The Whole World is Watching, released on Blacknoise Records in 2003. While the years that followed were spent recording and touring with Leftöver Crack, Morning Glory took a back seat.
But after these long years of touring, Ezra finally decided to give Morning Glory the attention it deserved in 2010 and began writing songs for what was to become the epic new album, Poets Were My Heroes. In the summer of 2011, Ezra and the band (with longtime members Early Gates, “Metal” Chris and Lucky Strano alongside new guitarist Adam Schrager) hit the studio with a barrage of new material. Picture the sonic kaleidoscope of punk noise meeting strings, horns, choirs, pianos and organs over a web of distorted guitars and marching, single kick pedal drums. These are the sounds that make up Poets Were My Heroes, Morning Glory’s Fat Wreck Chords debut and first full-length album recorded with a live band. Re-enlisting producer Jesse Cannon (The Menzingers, Saves the Day), a wealth of material was recorded, with only the very strongest songs being chosen to make up the album. It is both grand and elaborate, with each song evoking a different mood and style, challenging the musicianship of even the most dexterous players, while still maintaining its punk-inspired simplicity.
While the band itself has described themselves as “somewhere between Oasis and The Clash,” they continue to break rules and write music that is true only to themselves, adhering to no genres, creeds or political factions. The sing-along choruses give the band a broader appeal than the standard politi-kill punk acts, but the key message is more subversive: “Think for yourself, decide for yourself, make up your own mind and love your friends. Only you know what is right for you. Together we are what we can’t be alone.” It’s this unity in diversity that makes the band special and not just another punk outfit.
2012 will see Morning Glory put their collective talents together and embark on tours to support Poets Were My Heroes. With Ezra switching over to piano for live performances and adding Shawn Gardiner on rhythm guitar, the live show will be much more than just a punk rock gig. This is music that some kids are starting to call “Revolution Rock,” inviting the despondent, the lost and the orphaned children of punk, as well as anyone who just likes to go out and have a good time, to join in the chorus at one of their many upcoming shows.