New Jersey’s horror seekers corral their entire oeuvre for comprehensive, if eternally lo-fi, anthology.
Hardcore also-rans, MOURNING NOISE were THE MISFITS disciples most famous for featuring the future SAMHAIN and DANZIG drummer Steve Zing in their ranks rather than for their meager output, yet it’s this output – basically, a single platter – which still piques curiosity of those emotionally invested in the nu-garage era. But the Lodi band toiled away enough to score more music than they managed to issue at the time, so here is everything the American combo kept in their archives: the whopping 33 songs – finally properly contextualized.
The ensemble’s sole 7″ EP, “Dawn Of The Dead” from 1982, opens this collection in all its ragged glory, the mini-album’s fierce titular cut effectively muffled so that only Mike Mansfield’s voice and Tommy Koprowski six strings pierce the gloom, while the one-minute “Fighting Chance” is getting high on Chris Morance’s bass to discard an initial disco beat in favor of a fresh foray against despair and flower even more on stage. On CD, there’s an entire set delivered live for the radio alongside group’s studio works, where their tracks such as “Laser Lights” take on a slightly more sinister, heavier sound, the show also comprising a few things which don’t appear anywhere else and a couple of performances from the band’s earliest recorded effort, their 1981 demo: the revving “Vincent’s Theme” and the infectious rock ‘n’ roll “Monster Madness” – both pieces laid down anew for the punks’ unreleased longplay which was planned for 1984.
Each number driven by Zing’s relentless rhythmic assault, “Underground Zero” – another start-of-the-decade tune, an arresting instrumental – gains a cinematic, Sergio Leone-like scope for this abandoned project, offsetting the delirious “Crimson Carrie” and the frantically anthemic, and Sabbathian-gloomy, “Progress For The People” that the team had used to flaunt in front of the public for two years by then. Yet there’s pure metal of “Mr. Surveillance” too, stressing the musicians’ skills, whereas “Barbarian Hunt” emphasizes their brilliant handling of a shifting groove, and the outtake “Batman” underlining the ensemble’s ability to go glam if need be. They soldiered on well into 1985 when Steve decided to do a solo single with his colleagues, but gave preference to “Runaway” and left “Foolish Grief” languish on the shelf.
And that was that. After the drummer moved on to greater things, the band dissolved in oblivion – or, rather, a footnote in the history of hardcore. A footnote well-worth investigating.