The guys from Mourning September are smart. They have
done an almost impossible job of taking formulaic songwriting
beyond the mere formula, and melding it into something that resonates
across different musical spectrums and forms a nice unified album.
The sound is somewhere between a hardcore/emo/pop feel, but maintained
throughout, it is a completely guitar driven sound. Taken at face
value the songwriting is nothing to write home about, but layered
with the effect of the other band influences and production, the
end product is something that shines.
The guitar work has the greatest impact on me, like a machine
chugging away with no remorse; it is the steady pulse of the material,
and urges the songs on in a beautiful way. Even though the lines
are simple, they are driving, and fill a lot of the space, while
providing well-chosen breaks. As a result of the guitars, the
drums and bass become secondary in the overall structure. There
is nothing wrong with either of these instruments; rather they
seem to be sacrificed in the final production for stronger guitar
emphasis. The lead guitar is pleasant and discrete, it only adds
when it is needed and is interesting for the break out parts because
it seems to add counter-intuitive lines, which blend nicely and
add a different level to the songs.
The main singer does a heartfelt job of sustaining the different
songs, but it is the backing vocals that push the ambiance even
higher. At times the backing vocals follow the main line with
harmony, and others, forming a completely different melody, which
I rarely see nowadays. I am a big fan of backing vocals, and Mourning
September uses them perfectly, as they ought to be used.
Ultimately, it is the songwriting that will either make or break
this band. As stated above, it is formulaic and lacking enough
hook to truly make the songs special. With all of the other things
going for this band, stepping up the songwriting could only put
them closer to hitting it big. In addition, while I loved the
guitars, I do have to admit that they became almost unidimensional
across the album. A higher high and a lower low could bring about
a greater quality of material and feel. It is one thing to use
what you have, but quite another to have enough restraint to not
Either way it is worth listening to, and you can judge for
yourself. I will appreciate this album for its uninhibited guitar
driven sound, and that's enough for me.
1. Closer to Closure
4. Every Dream
5. The Damage
6. Tonight, Tonight
7. April Dreams
8. Break Them Down
9. Hold on
10. Lights and Jewels
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