Mourn The Garrison, Toronto ON, July 16

Mourn The Garrison, Toronto ON, July 16
Photo: Shane Parent
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Mourn's success is the result of a combination of talent, commitment and a bit of luck. Picking a word from the dictionary at random resulted in the young Catalonians' cool band name, and they were fatefully discovered via an acoustic recording they posted on YouTube. Their energetic enthusiasm translated well onto their solid, straight-to-tape debut, released just ten months after they'd formed as a band.

Vallens opened with their dramatic, mod-meets-new-wave, noise-inflected shoegaze, getting crowd warmed up for Mourn, and although there wasn't a huge crowd gathered — it was surprising that the notable amount of attention Mourn has received from press internationally didn't result in a bigger turnout for this Toronto date — the result was an intimate, laid back show from both bands.

Mourn's tour follows the release of their three-track single Gertrudis, Get Through This! The title track excelled live, contained melody sandwiched between the chaos of clattering guitars and powerful staggered vocals. Half of the set was composed of new songs, most unnamed, and the band delivered them with seeming pride, smiling, fist-pumping or shooting a hand into the air upon their completion. The best of the new work was characterized by Leia Rodríguez Bueno's and Carla Pérez Vas' angular and experimental bass and guitar work, respectively, suggesting that their next release may rival their first. The most memorable was backed by an ominous battle march of drums, featured Veruca Salt-ian harmonies, harshly clashing guitar notes and a dash of screaming for good measure.

They were serious for the most part, suiting the tone of their songs, but enjoyment was evident: vocalist/guitarist Vas having the most fun, dancing with herself. Though there were occasional lags in their energy — "We're tired. Jet lagged and stuff," offered singer Jazz Rodríguez Bueno at one point — their performance was passionate, for the most part, and several extended jams showcased their drummer Antonio Postius Echeverría's intensity. Throughout the set, he looked appropriately satisfied with himself, his face varying between exertion and ease.

Jazz admitted she had trouble expressing herself (English is her second language), but when she did speak, there was a stark contrast between her endearingly sweet, mousey voice and the rich, deep lows of her rock diva, alter-ego vocals. As on the album, the passionate vocal expressivity and range was a highlight of the show, Mourn's expressive fits conveying a sense of unrestrained youth.

Jazz faced the epic climax of "Otitis" like her female rock icons would, kneeling on the ground, banging her head, choppy hair in her face. She played so fiercely that after, she had to sheepishly ask the crowd if anyone had a spare guitar pick. "Maybe," she offered nonchalantly, "I should buy some."