Morgan Taylor's Rock Group is a band you have almost surely never heard of. They are also really, really good. I first heard them in New York City's CBGB. (They have a residency there, playing every other Thursday until April- so go see them!) I bought their album there for $10, it's self titled, and was released in 2002. And I've been listening to it incessantly.

Tracklist:
  1. Hey!
  2. Fool Enough
  3. Get On
  4. World Won't Wait
  5. New Blue Star
  6. Sugar Boat
  7. I've Been You
  8. Starling
  9. You've Got Room
  10. Keys to my Planet
Each song is a work of dense, beautiful guitar-pop, vaguely akin to Fountains of Wayne's.

Track three has an unsympathetically hard narrative.

So your home burned down last night
And your love lies trapped inside

Its creepy, repetative melody causes Amplifier magazine to suggests imagining Marc Bolan fronting Radiohead.

And track ten alternates a loving refrain with angsty, kick ass verses

I wanna be quicker
A whole lot richer
And free from liquor
I've been lookin' at a picture
Of me, from back home



But in general, the songs generally portray moments of childlike wonder

I found a star, out in the yard
Resting inside my fire-fly jar

of simple joy

Gonna buy some flowers, put 'em on the table
Put a brighter light-bulb in this room
...Come to life again

of love

Cuz you've got
Room for me
In your arms
Hold me up

and of wistfullness

If you have to leave
You are free
But when you got to sleep
Dream of me

. The songwriter's exodus from Dayton, Ohio to New York City is also a recurring theme.

It won't be long
TIl I run this town

Sometimes, the lyrics are nonsense

Bring a little sugar to the mountain

But the songs' strength lies in catchy melodies, lovely vocal harmonies, and powerful instrumental delivery. Lead singer Morgan Taylor (no shit) has a sweet, slightly airy, boy band-ready voice that sounds a bit like Stephen Trask-as-Tommy Gnosis. That's where the boy band comparison ends though, the music overflows with rock and roll energy, it is never sedate, or empty, or boring.

In fact, when an interviewer for Yeah Yeah Yeah asked Taylor why his band was better than N' Sync or Brittany Spears, he responded:
They're foxier than anything, even Buck Cherry. B. Their music is less robot sounding and more like, I would say it rocks all kingly-popular sounding with diamondy and feathery parts too. It sounds like a perfectly sewn sock full of the prettiest candy. Brittany never has that!!
The members of the band are: MTRG have two previously released mini-albums (EPS?): Morgan Taylor has also released two albums of 4-track recordings (i.e. he accompanies himself):

The band's website is at www.mtrg.net.

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