Ef - Mourning Golden Morning
Post Rock
7 songs (51:34)
Release year: 2010
Reviewed by Jaime
Archive review
Post rock is one of those genres that you could say has been hit with the problem of oversaturation with the number of bands out there, but at the very least the wheat generally outweighs the chaff. So to continue that metaphor a little longer, Ef from Sweden is a band that easily falls into the wheat category. One problem I have with some post rock bands is their tendency to wander off course without resolving anything, resulting in 7 or 8 minute plus song that seem to drag on and on. While Ef does hit these sorts of track lengths the way they have constructed each song avoids that pitfall quite gracefully. Mourning Golden Morning never seems long at any moment, which is quite an accomplishment given the genres aforementioned problems.

The instrumentation being used is also worth talking about, with live string and brass sections combined with some percussion elements creating a Sigur Rós sort of vibe, albeit nowhere near as random and experimental. By similar merits Ef are like a more restrained version of Maudlin of the Well, sidestepping their more frantic moments and concentrating on the more mellow aspects of that band. Sons of Ghosts, the album’s second track, is a prime example of this in terms of instrumentation and song writing similarities and showcases an almost fragile element to the band, especially when the vocals kick in. Longing For Colors also follows suite in this way, though the music feels less delicate on the whole even with the vocals gracefully floating over the track once more. The fragile instrumental track Fyra is so undemanding yet manages to capture your attention with its lilting guitars and stuttering percussion, and the final few moments are just pure post rock ambience that has been honed into a short concentrated burst that brings in 401 Lwa with the greatest of ease. This is probably the most “typical” post rock song on show but still has that slight sparkle, that quality that just shines through in the band’s laid back fashion.

By contrast K-141 KYPCK starts of in a military fashion, with the drums focussing on snare rolls and cymbal hits to create a march feel before things slow down like that of the sinking submarine one assumes the song takes its name from, building back up to a finale that resurrects the military theme. It’s an impressive listen that stands out from the rest of the album due to its comparatively ferocious nature and fairly well known topic that captures the feelings surrounding the incident and the prelude to it admirably.

The production values on Mourning Golden Morning are ridiculously good. Everything is clear and well defined, the strings, brass and piano especially so, and for a band that I and probably a few others hadn’t heard of before now it’s a very grand first impression. The understated synths are, personally, a delight to hear in comparison to some bands over use of them when they may just be cluttering up space. Ef’s songwriting is excellent and although while it does sometimes follow the predictable “build up/full on/work down” structure those component parts are done so well that it can be easily forgiven. All in all Mourning Golden Morning is a solid album that can easily be easily recommended to those who are looking for a starting point into post rock or those who’re well entrenched in the genre.
Killing Songs :
Sons of Ghosts, K-141 KYPCK, Longing for Colors, Fyra, 401 Lwa
Jaime quoted 86 / 100
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