With the pall of their label skirmishes firmly behind them, Spanish punks Mourn push their sound bigger and harder for their third album, Sopresa Familia. The band processes punk and post-punk, grunge and gloom into a record that fully embraces guitar rock in an age when being a young guitar band has lost its gloss. They scratch through the tracks on the LP with an intensity and vigor that’s matched only by the breadth of their touchstones, flinging the dark rumble of The Sound and The Church through the grit and gravel of Husker Du. They pull their vision of pop across the same scarred stones that produced the flayed bare honesty of PJ Harvey. Like many of the best bands of their generation, they’ve taken the advantage of having deep wells of music available at their whims and used it to build a sound that doesn’t draw divisions, instead they collage eras with ease.
The band can curl up into some tender moments over the course of Sopresa Familia, but they wind up at their best when the hurricane crunch of guitar is at a full tilt and looking to level. They’ve built a record on the edge, and given their past frustrations with the music industry, its not hard to see how this could wind up a record fueled by angst and restlessness. From the firecracker snap of “Barcelona City Tour” – which reminds me in a very good way of Afrirampo – to the slow simmer ‘n blow of “Strange Ones,” this is a record that’s not content to keep a poker face. The album bubbles over with fury, joy, frustration and relief. Its no time to keep a lid on the pot, Mourn remind us that catharsis is not just an indulgence, it’s a right.
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