Album review: MOURN – Ha, Ha, He.

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MOURN recently announced their sophomore album, ‘Ha, Ha, He.,’ which will be out on June 3, 2016 via Captured Tracks. ‘Ha, Ha, He.’ is the follow up to their critically acclaimed s/t debut album.

MOURN’s self-titled 2014 debut LP gave the world an interesting idea: Catalonian teenagers making authentically great guitar-based music in an era where it’s considered almost unfashionable. Since that period, the band has faced some very real issues, both personally and professionally, things that 17-to-20 year olds normally don’t have to worry about. When dealing with such a youthful band, you worry about how they will live up to the early attention as it begins to dissipate.

On ‘Ha, He, He.,’ MOURN continue to develop their indie rock chops. There’s nothing groundbreaking on this album, but it’s a solid indie rock album overall and they’ve upped the sophistication from their debut. It’s obvious to draw a comparison to Sleater Kinney due to the female vocals and band members, but the only similarity is both bands play indie rock with female vocalists. On first listen, I was a bit ‘meh’ about the album, but after multiple listens, I’m really liking the album. ‘Ha, He, He.’ is definitely a grower and you start to see that they’ve developed their own distinct sound and are maturing as artists. A lot of the distinction comes from frontwoman Jazz Rodríguez Bueno’s accent and sharp, edgy lyrical content. This is especially evident on Storyteller and The Unexpected. “

Also, Irrational Friend” lifts its chorus, “”Ha. Ha. He!”” from William Blake’s “The Laughing Song,” a poem from his ‘Songs of Innocence and Experience’. Much like the poem itself, the song is sort of a last gasp of screaming laughter on an album that’s marked in real time. You can sense the band working through their experiences as a group of young and talented people entering their 20s.

MOURN Ha Ha He. cover
Track list:

1. Flee
2. Evil Dead
3. Brother Brother
4. Howard
5. The Unexpected
6. Storyteller
7. Gertrudis Get Through This
8. President Bullshit
9. I Am a Chicken
10. Second Sage
11. Irrational Friend
12. Fry Me

 

The standout tracks are the opening bars of “Flee” that gallop into “Evil Dead with their pounding drums, angular guitar riff, off-kilter vocals and chorus “Feast on your soul,” and Second Sage with its chiming yet beautiful guitar and catchy vocals. You can take a listen to Second Sage via Soundcloud below.

 

The band have already shared two tracks from the album, “Storyteller” and Evil Dead.” If you want to pick up the album, here’s where to get it – iTunes pre-order / physical pre-order.