MOURN's self-titled 2014 debut LP gave the world an interesting idea: Catalonian teenage wunderkinds 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. Upon hearing Ha, He, He! for the first time, it turns out, we never needed to look forward to MOURN growing into a great band; they already are one.
Ha, Ha, He! has all the twists and turns of Post-Rock from its Chicago heyday bolstered by the melodic quirkiness of a new influence for the band, Throwing Muses. On "Brother, Brother" and "Howard," we see MOURN through a pop lens: undeniably catchy, but intricately performed and still somehow "heavy." This is a band that can play around with the pop format in a way that doesn't degrade their songwriting talent to the lowest common denominator. Not an easy task. Further on, the track "Storyteller" goes on it's own trip through downtempo drudgery, into a melodic bridge, and concludes with anthemic sing-screaming. On the equally challenging-yet-beautiful "Second Sage," it becomes apparent that MOURN have begun to carve out their own niche and their songs are no longer fits of inspiration indebted to their heroes, but just the band being themselves.