The band Mope is from the right country for the romantic concept they strive for with the jazz infused sound they produce. Bass, guitar, drums and saxophone are the instruments of the four piece from Genoa. They draw their inspiration from bands like Earth, Om and Sleep. The result doesn’t sound like them, but is hauntingly beautiful nonetheless.
After listening to Mope‘s Self-Titled album a couple of times, I’m still not sure what to make of this band. They don’t sound like a doom band at all, they don’t sound sludgy, raw or brutal in any sense of the world, they sound like a jazz band.
The sound of Mope is that of a film noir soundtrack, with mournful jazz boosted by dark images, shady figures and thick plots. Of cigarettes and whisky and a troubled and faded singer in asking for a smoke at the bar, where a neatly dressed bartender pretends not to hear the things whispered in his ear, unless you give him the right prize. You know the type of film probably, they’re great atmospheric pieces of art.
The drums open up ‘Old Grey Street‘, like steps coming towards you in a dark, rainy street, totally abandoned, apart from the sounds of the night and the saxophone playing from the club. Distorted, heavy guitars suddenly enter the fray, action and intensity for a brief moment with a short burst that stops as sudden as it started.
‘Doomed To Feed The Ground‘ has an enthralling doom song going on, with the mystic sounds of the jazz instrument. Between the cascading riffs, which sound very clean and neat, silent moments fall. Those are filled up with the mournful wail again, creating that ambience once more. This song seems to find the balance a bit more, which also may be partly due to the guitar sound. It’s very mechanical and dulled down. Whatever it is, the harmony is what creates the magic here.
The third song is ‘La Caduta‘, meaning as much as ‘The Fall‘. It’ passes slowly, like one would expect from Earth for example. The sax weeps and the feeling of grief and sadness is easily evoked by the band here. More doom than this will be hard to produce with this instrument. The slow, weeping tones, colliding with the dragging rhythm form a combination that sounds both dark as well as filled with melancholy.
Mope has succeeded in blending two sounds into an unholy unity that fascinates and intrigues the listener. Though the sound sometimes lacks the organic feeling you would expect to accompany the metallic saxophone sound, it is just the first release. I’m looking forward to more work from these Italians.
Scribed by: Guido Segers