Morning Parade's sophomore album, 2014's Pure Adulterated Joy, features more of the Essex, England band's anthemic, melodic alt-rock. Once again centered on the singer/songwriter talents of frontman Steve Sparrow, Pure Adulterated Joy is a harder if no less melodically infectious album than the band's 2012 self-titled debut. Imagine if Two Door Cinema Club vocalist Alex Trimble had a more brooding brother who formed a band inspired by Joy Division and you won't be far off from Morning Parade's sound here. Produced by Animal Collective's Ben Allen (who has worked with such similarly inclined groups as Delphic, Deerhunter, and Bombay Bicycle Club), Pure Adulterated Joy is a an album full of gigantic choruses delivered via Sparrow's resonant, yearning vocals and thick electric guitar lines, all set against a backdrop of shimmering '80s-influenced synths and pounding drums. This is the kind of album that was alterative radio bread and butter in the '90s and has since become something more rarefied. In that sense, Morning Parade often strike a balance between the dark post-grunge of Bush and the sneering guitar derring-do of Smashing Pumpkins. They also share a lot in common with the arch, driving post-punk of the Editors. Tracks like "Shake the Cage," "Love Thy Neighbour," and "Sharing Cigarettes" are insistent, passionate, and arrestingly good cuts that bludgeon you with literate emotion and melodic hooks. Elsewhere, the band takes a more drawn-out dramatic approach on the cinematic "Car Alarms & Sleepless Nights" and the equally as involving ballad "Seasick." Ultimately, there is nothing compromised and everything to love about the aptly named Pure Adulterated Joy.
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AllMusic Review by Matt Collar