Rarely has a debut album sounded so fresh and endearing -- without your suspecting the writer copped somebody's songbook -- as the Morning Benders' "Talking Through Tin Cans." The Berkeley-based quartet (pictured) metes out three-minute dollops of youthful pining as if love songs were something they just sprang on the Internet. "We're just looking to do something that sounds authentic," says frontman Chris Chu, an unabashed fan of classic pop who, at 21, appears years away from his first encounter with a razor. "Most of the music I look back on [fondly] has an honest emotion." The Benders' formula of scratchy-but-tasteful guitars, agile melodies and wizened-not-whiny sentiment evolved as if by fate. Chu, a Santa Monica native (in fact, three of the four Benders have SoCal roots), "picked up a friend's guitar when I was homesick from school one day and started playing," he says. Off he went to Cal, where eventually he found Joe Ferrell (guitars, keyboards), Julian Harmon (drums) and, now, Tim Or (who has replaced original bassist David Perales). "After I moved up to Berkeley, I just started writing songs -- yeah, I had some girl troubles, but I had some good things happen too," Chu says. "All the songs are kind of a snapshot of what was going on at the time." And to gauge from Chu's enthusiasm, the album, released this week by fledgling label +1 Records, is just the start. "We love playing music, and so far everything about it is exactly how I wanted it to be," he says. "We want to make another album already." Live: The Morning Benders play their album-release show tonight at the Echo. Also: Psych-pop collective the Parson Red Heads marks the release of its new EP "Owl & Timber" with a show Friday at Spaceland. . . . "Ghost Notes," the formidable debut from local quintet Everest, was released this week, and the band plays Monday night at the Viper Room. . . . With its second EP "Bloomsbury" just out, pop trio Princeton plays Monday at the Echo. . . . And Sky Parade celebrates the release of its "High on Desire" EP with a show supporting Britain's Air Traffic at Spaceland on Saturday.