Ahead of the release of their fourth album of original material, Spanish rockers Mourn sent out a three page missive cum emotional roundtable, to various writers and magazines they admired, explaining their motivation for recording. It spoke of recent in house setbacks, such as issues with their first label (they’re now on album number three for Brooklyn’s Captured Tracks) and the parting of ways with longtime drummer Antonio Postius, as well as their newfound resilience and desire to make a ‘grown up’ record, one that addresses selfhood and their standing within a larger society in general.
It’s possible to trace the arc of empowerment they’ve strived for across their career, but the confidence of their new album’s title alone implies that, now a unified feminist three piece, the Catalonian firebrands seem to have achieved some of what they set out to do.
Filled with Doc Marten stomp along drums, airy choruses and clattering riffs, first track This Feeling Is Disgusting captures the same sense of adolescent carefreeness as the much missed Kenickie and The Donnas once did. They know the world is crowded with rotten aspects but in accepting the fallible nature of everything that goes on around them, they’ve given themselves space to focus inward on improving their lot in life.
Call You Back’s riff sounds like a ringtone trapped in the underworld. It’s a riled track about missed connections and not having to explain your actions to those who question them. It reacts to traumatic occurrences with courteous lines such as “I’m hoping for the best” and “I admire you, when it’s hard, to realise you might be wrong”. They bristle with righteous power again on the tumble down riot grrl wallop of I’m in Trouble and its subject matter of becoming obsessed on small details. Other lyrics speak of setting boundaries and a desire not to be spoken over.
Whilst the record is without doubt clamorous, murky and often times boisterous, it’s in no way petulant or immovable. On their first record they had an enchantingly titled bonus track called Boys Are Cunts, but in this new age of addressing these patriarchal injustices, the angriest song on the record is just called Men. Asking “What’s the next step?” it’s Mourn looking for a way to overcome challenges rather than get defeated by them. Stay There is a bottom heavy sludgy jumble that recalls L7 at their most dissolute with the vocal yelps and tongue twisters of Throwing Muses. The Tree is an eddying amalgam of yet more 4AD college rock and shoegaze, this time a mixing bowl of Tanya Donelly’s mischievous vocals on Belly and the indefinable sway of guitars established on initial singles by Lush.
It ends with a reflective but sanguine The Family’s Broke, in which the band ponder the difficulties they faced. No longer held to ransom by the past, it’s a relief to hear them take stock and prove their mettle. It was in there all along.