Published Jun 12, 2018There are a lot of surprises when it comes to Mourn. It's easy to be surprised by the youth of the Catalonian punk band's members; their 2015 self-titled debut was released when the band members were all still teenagers.
Their range across the record is also a bit of a surprise, from loud and aggressive to calmer and more plaintive. It's easy to be surprised at how well they navigated their own industry turmoil, surviving legal battles with their Spanish label and being left behind in Reykjavik by label reps. But most of all, it's easy to be surprised by their rapid growth as a band over the last few years, as Sorpresa Familia finds the group more confident and with strong command over their visceral punk sound.
While it's easy to focus in on how young the group are, it's interesting to note how the youthful spontaneity of their previous work has given way to a slightly more calculated but no less relentless approach. This is a transition the band have made well, as tracks like "Doing it Right" and "Strange Ones" still pack a lot of power.
Opener "Barcelona City Tour" features a pounding rhythm section and tightly arranged guitars, but the group vocals shouting "What a shame" at the top of their lungs show their exuberance hasn't gone anywhere just yet.
Make no mistake, Mourn are not kids anymore. But this record doesn't feature a group that's lost touch with their youthful tendencies that helped them make their name. They're still channelling the same types of youthful emotions that drove their best work, just with the experience and conviction to mould them into more compelling shapes. (Captured Tracks)