Ef
Mourning Golden Morning


3.5
great

Review

by J. Ponton EMERITUS
March 31st, 2010 | 28 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: They clearly know their effing post-rock.

I reserved this particular review for the wee hours of the morning – a time when all of my family have long-past turned in for the night: the house is hushed, the pets are outside, and a peculiar chill fills the late-March morning air. Normally, I might rise from short fits of sleep to pop in Kid A or Geogaddi to suit the eerie mood, or, depending on how much I wanted and/or needed rest, The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place or The Blue Notebooks to woo me back to bed. But, no, I don’t think I will on this particular morning - I feel like writing, and what better time and atmosphere than to tackle a post-rock review. I rise, prepare three cups of coffee, and sit down with Ef’s latest Mourning Golden Mourning, an album that recites to me all the reasons why I love post-rock, and, in addition, all the reasons why I feel that the genre has already reached its pinnacle moment in the beginning of the last decade.

Many cite Ef’s Give Me Beauty...Or Give Me Death! as an underground post-rock highlight, as it collectively brought past influences Mogwai and Explosions In The Sky together in a way that made the well-played deviation sound striking original – though, honestly, very few were fooled, but that was to be expected: the point is that they almost were. In very much the same way, Mourning Golden Morning proposes to make new the feel of treaded and retreaded territory, bringing together builds, climaxes, soothing, albeit sparse vocal integration, and just the right amount of vindicated atmosphere to warrant its inclusion into the more successful collection of post-rock albums. It’s the kind of album that makes you proud to be a fan of this particular type of music, even though it might encourage you to forgo it for the more memorable genre staples.

But even the fact that it successfully recites to you the familiar elements of the frontier gods makes it stand out from those that have failed in the past: Mourning Golden Morning is not sloppy work. The album brings an at time subtle, at times blatant affiliation with those that came before it, yes, but it contains spots of brilliance here and there. The vocal interplay between Daniel Ohman and Tomas Torsson on first track “Son of Ghosts” is such a moment: a steady drum beat and relentless chime work simple miracles, permeating an atmosphere that thrives and solicits pondering; ‘All those fading lights’ breathes in the background and a release of distorted guitar pounding and horns ensue. The moments where this album shines are those that have you forgetting the stereotypes and genuinely "wow" you by what’s presented, though you might recall such moments later and wonder at why it surprised you in the first place. It’s just how the atmosphere swallows you, man: in the moment, in the place, and just at the right time.

I’m not one to rock and nod my head while sipping a cup of coffee, but that’s what “Living With Colors” has me doing – in effect, also getting the liquid all over me. The guitar tones that Tomas and Daniel offer are not nearly as piercing as those painted by Explosions In The Sky; but, however, they do set up the perfect instances for Ef to pull on a heavy layer of distortion for some first-rate, head-bangin’, post-rockin’ action – though, I’m not quite sure they were going for that effect. The aforementioned is riddled and concocted in such a way; but in all honesty, closer “Alps Lugens and Beyond” is where Ef truly ef it up – and I mean that in a good way. Beginning solemn and remorseful, the song then transitions to chimes, slows to subtle invitation, and then makes for the best “Moya” impression this side of Godspeed. As the song seems to float off, I realize it’s well past time for me to turn in to sleep - but no, it’s not over: Ef return for one last triumphant build and release, and, in turn, cause me to lose the rest of my coffee all over my sweat pants.

It’s certainly pleasing to find an album like Mourning Golden Morning that rewrites an often-used formula well enough to feel at times refreshing. And though I may never return to its attention, if only because there are better albums to lose mind and consciousness to, I can group it with the more successful and competent works in the particular category of music. It’s a revisit to the strengths of Mogwai, the tones and soundscapes of Explosions In The Sky, and the more successful vocal inclusions in the genre – a distant Sigur Ros comparison is fair, though more in line with The Album Leaf and recent Eluvium - never drawing attention to the singers individually, while making better the whole of the atmosphere of the music at hand. Ef does all of these things while negating innovation, true, but highlighting many of the strengths of the genre. They clearly know their f'ing post-rock.



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user ratings (70)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Ponton
Emeritus
March 31st 2010


5804 Comments


stream: http://www.absolutepunk.net/artists/showlink.php?do=showdetails&l=27261 -need to register though

EVedder27
March 31st 2010


6088 Comments


Nicely done Jared, this sounds like something sputnik will love.

AggravatedYeti
March 31st 2010


7685 Comments


lol post rock.

review was excellent.

Ponton
Emeritus
March 31st 2010


5804 Comments


Thanks, guys

that hurts yeti. I used to think you were cool, but now...

AggravatedYeti
March 31st 2010


7685 Comments


hahaha.
nah I love it -- well its a love/hate relationship, mostly love.


Ponton
Emeritus
March 31st 2010


5804 Comments


well that's good to hear

not sure you would like this, but its well done for what it is. Last two albums were recieved well here, so i guess a few will enjoy it.

SeaAnemone
March 31st 2010


20534 Comments


superb review. I really should check this out (and their previous too it sounds!) but I haven't been all that active about pursuing post-rock lately... still have a lot to catch up on that I've downloaded in the genre.

Digging: Pharmakon - Bestial Burden

Skimaskcheck
March 31st 2010


2360 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i was gonna do this, didn't know it was streaming though, gutting! and great review, too!

Ponton
Emeritus
March 31st 2010


5804 Comments


Thanks guys! I really appreciate it. It should be out tomorrow





Minus The Flair
Emeritus
March 31st 2010


862 Comments


this band is nice, but this will probably turn out to be something i unfairly never check out due to laziness/impatience.

also your reviews are improving all the time dude. keep it up.

Ponton
Emeritus
March 31st 2010


5804 Comments


Thank you, sir. I appreciate it

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
March 31st 2010


15743 Comments


way to make a post rock review sound interesting. that's a task I stopped trying to attempt a long time ago, but you handle it well here.

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 31st 2010


8371 Comments


Great review Jared. This is something that would probably put me to sleep. Unintentionally of course.

Ponton
Emeritus
March 31st 2010


5804 Comments


way to make a post rock review sound interesting. that's a task I stopped trying to attempt a long time ago, but you handle it well here.


i really appreciate it. You've seemed to do pretty well at it though, I liked your mono review a lot, and I read your older godspeed 5 review the other day and that was great too



Thanks styles, yeah you would hate this haha

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
March 31st 2010


2806 Comments


Great album indeed.

FigNewtns
April 1st 2010


723 Comments


more shelsmusic goodness. awesome review, will def look into.



Ponton
Emeritus
April 1st 2010


5804 Comments


I appreciate it, fig. I think by your ratings, you would like it.


Skimaskcheck
April 2nd 2010


2360 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really good.

Calculate
April 2nd 2010


1135 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album art is amazing so I must listen to this.

EasternLight
April 2nd 2010


2700 Comments


holy crap i need this. band rules



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