Although technically Mourn’s self-titled debut was released back in February, it seems appropriate to bring it back around, considering how quickly the weather is changing back into cold. Somehow it just seems wrong to listen to Mourn’s fervent, unapologetic tracks when there aren’t gusts of freezing wind threatening to claw at your face and hands, or when you have no heavy jacket with cavernous pockets to forcefully shove your fists into when trudging across town. That’s the thing about the cold, though; It shoves you out, and it sometimes makes you feel like an outsider to your own skin, but it also makes you stronger. As clichéd as that sounds when trying to compare sound to a specific visual or feeling, this is what I ultimately feel Mourn seems to want to convey – an outer layer of resilience shrouding a bitter angst for the type of world that just doesn’t seem to understand.
Mourn, despite lasting for just under half an hour, still seems to contain just enough angst and resentment to satisfy any lust. The tracks seem to switch internally from being grunge to punk at the flick of the wrist, and that feeling of not being able to tell it apart so easily is fascinating. It’s clear that their motivation stems from something way before their years, referencing artists like PJ Harvey and The Ramones as prime inspiration for both the music and the enticing aesthetic appeal. Each track is chock full of impressive instrumentals, all drenched in frontwoman Jazz Rodriguez Bueno’s snarling, piercing voice, shouting insults so fast it knocks you back two paces. Heavy, mature tracks like “Dark Issues” and “Silver Gold” juxtapose the more jaunty, humorous, and youthfully rude “Philliphius” and “Jack.” It’s clear that they know how to inject enough fun and innocence to balance everything out, as well as sometimes evoking other well-known grunge bands (its hard not to hear the Nirvana vibe in stunner track “Otitis”) to get the same result. You can really hear the frustrations and cynicisms that the members have obviously chosen to express in a more pacifistic way, which is why the lyrics are so amazingly direct, and often times, cold as ice. Some of the shorter tracks like “Misery Factory” and “Squirrel” seem to get lost in their own attempted simplicity, as well as skimp heavily on the lyrics, and after a while it’s clear that Mourn aren’t exactly reinventing the genre. However, they are immaculate at finding their own voice within that genre, and the best example would have to be the insidious track “Your Brain is Made of Candy.” It’s almost like a majestic, unassuming fever dream in the way it slowly builds and consumes all empty space with sound, and becomes a full on beautiful nightmare right before the abrupt cut off. You can choose to interpret it in any poetic, emotional, psychological way you’d like, but ultimately, it is, as Bueno says, “only a song about a guy who has a brain made of candy.”
The four members that make up the Barcelona-based band are all under the age of twenty (which, simultaneously, makes me both impressed and, truthfully, a little jealous), and it’s interesting to note why age is especially important when looking at the inspirations for the album. Apparently, Bueno was dumped by her then-boyfriend for being too “immature,” which, in turn, explains why their music seems to try extremely hard to sound like anything but. However, some of what makes their sound so great is that they knew which parts to keep young and others to keep jaded and mature, which is why Mourn ultimately ends up sounding so raw.
photo by Las Coleccionistas