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Mourn - Birthdays, London 14/03/15

18 March 2015, 10:00 | Written by Dannii Leivers

It’s minutes into Mourn’s first ever London gig and disaster has struck: an amp has failed silencing the guitar of frontwoman Carla Perez Vas. After five stressful minutes of fiddling with wires and two false starts, finally it starts working. It’s a good job too, as tonight’s show is a sell-out and the room is packed.

Moments like that are enough to throw any young band, and Catalan quartet Mourn are very young. Carla, second frontwoman Jazz Rodriguez Bueno and drummer Antonio Postius Echeverría are all 18 years old. Bassist Leia Rodríguez Bueno, Jazz’s sister, is only 15. While nerves are apparent, and there’s another couple of missed queues, the band power confidently through a hypnotic set, playing tight, fast and loud, as though they’ve been doing this for a lot longer than they actually have.

Their sprightly age is all the more unbelievable given their influences, most evidently the jagged urgency of Sleater-Kinney. The band were clearly listening to a lot of Call the Doctor when they penned the furious “Squirrel”, and the raw, garage pop of PJ Harvey circa Dry, albums that were both released before any of them were born. Tonight at times Jazz’s thick, bruised vocals sound uncannily like Harvey’s, especially on the claustrophobic “Dark Issues”.

An unbridled rage bristles through Mourn’s music, and they’re clear that anyone who tries to handle them with kid gloves will be given short shrift. Most of the band’s tracks weigh in around the minute-and-half mark, heavy on savage teenage angst and taking little time to snap to abrasive climaxes. Lyrically, Carla and Jazz’s ex-boyfriends receive the full sting of their wrath. The mournful ‘Your Brain Is Made of Candy’ is one of tonight’s highlights, escalating to a feverish, tingling climax, Carla’s voice dripping with disdain and rising to a piercing shriek. Another hapless male gets a tongue lashing on “Marshall” with its “Shut up! Marshall!” refrain, and “Jack”, which lasts little over a minute, simmers with scorn: “You think you’re awesome, I say you’re boring. Go fuck yourself”. Tonight’s show lasts only 45 minutes, but this four piece from Barcelona have got us gripped with a rawness and ferocity that belies their youth. We can’t wait to see what comes next.

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