The Mourning Reign was a garage rock band formed in San Jose, California, around the year 1966, and split up just two years later in 1968 due several members having been drafted into the war in Vietnam. According to the group’s biography on AllMusic.com, they were peers of groups like Harbinger Complex, and even the Chocolate Watchband. Decades after the group split up, Sundazed Records issued an album of their work during their time together, which consists of covers from groups like the Who and the Yardbirds. I’ll be listening to that album tonight, and I’m pretty stoked to give it a listen, so with that said, I’m going to jump on into the listening experience.
“Evil-Hearted You” starts out with a tight beat followed by some classic garage rock sounding guitars that very much remind me of west coast garage rock and psychedelic garage rock from the mid-to-late 1960s. Oh wow, I’m really digging this track so far. There’s a sort of relaxed garage rock feel at first, but the band tightens up with a sort of psychedelic jam. I’m actually reminded a bit of Quicksilver Messenger Service in this track between the different vocals and the tone of the guitar. Wow, great track, and I’m excited to hear more.
“Get Out of My Life Woman” gets grooving with a super sweet, fuzzed-out bass line, and gradually some psychedelic garage rock guitar and percussion gradually come into the soundscape. I’m really digging the shakers in the percussion, which actually remind me a bit of the Rolling Stones. This song was originally by Allen Toussaint, and The Mourning Reign are giving it a really groovy, twangy, psychedelic garage rock treatment that I’m really enjoying. Great track.
“Satisfaction Guaranteed” gets moving with some tight, somewhat twangy, and lightly distorted garage rock guitar that gets me hooked in. Oh wow, I really dig the distant swirling of the organs in the background of the soundscape. The tone of the guitar and overall soundscape reminds me of some strange cross-section between the Count Five and Iron Butterfly, and I’m really digging the result. Great tune.
“Our Fate” starts out with some somewhat jangly, and almost pop-like guitar work, which is soon joined by a really interesting fuzzed-out guitar line that seems to bring some buzzing psychedelia to this garage pop/rock track. Oh wow, I’m really digging the dynamic feel in the drums and bass of this tune. Super sweet track.
Oh wow, “Light Switch” starts out with a combination of jangling acoustic guitar, some light percussion, and some clean electric guitar. I’m very much reminded of the Byrds in this track. Oh wow, there’s even a bit of mandolin and some big church bells in this track. Oh wow, this track breaks through to a super sweet psychedelic garage pop/rock section for a moment, and then takes a somewhat dark and nearly shamanic turn as the track comes to an end. Great track.
“Run Run Run” gets grooving right away with some galloping garage rock guitar chords on one side of the soundscape, with a dynamic beat and bass line on the opposite side of the musical landscape that drive the tune forward. Holy smokes, an electric guitar comes in with some super sweet, psychedelic licks for a moment before the track jumps back into the upbeat grooves. Super sweet track.
“Tales of the Brave Ullysses” starts out with some really interesting melty guitar, some tight, bright, and mellow bass, and the gradual climb of cymbals that begin to crash as the next section of the track begins. Oh wow, this track has some classic psychedelic blues, rock, and pop flavors reminiscent of 1966 and 1967. Oh wow, I really dig the guitar licks as the track comes to a close. Super sweet tune.
“Signed D.C.” starts out with some bright, jangling strumming of an acoustic guitar with an electric guitar gently playing a sweet melody behind it, and a super groovy rhythm section with a soft swing from the drums and a mellow bass line that move the track along nicely. Oh wow, I’m really digging this rendition of the track originally by Love. Holy smokes, a harmonica comes in for a moment and somehow dials the flavor and feeling of the track even higher than it already was. Wow, awesome track.
“Cut Back” gets grooving right away with some jangling garage rock flavors from the drums and rhythm guitar, with a somewhat twangy lead guitar that I’m really digging. Oh wow, the lead guitar picks up some really groovy distortion that intensifies the soundscape for a moment before the track resolves back to the psychedelic garage pop rock. Super sweet track.
Oh wow, “Light Switch (Alt. Version)” wastes no time getting into this track again with some sweet acoustic guitar accompanied by a tentative-sounding, sweet melody from an electric guitar behind it, and a light swing from the drums on the other side of the soundscape. I think this track is a bit faster overall compared to the other version so far. Holy smokes, the end of the track took a similar dark, psychedelic, raga-inflected turn. Great track, and a great way to finish the album.
Wow, I’m glad I checked out this album tonight, which was filled with a medley of flavors that reminded me of the psychedelic rock and garage rock/pop sounds from around 1966 and 1967, and particularly that of the west coast of the US. It’s a shame that the band split up due to the war in Vietnam, I would like to hear some more music from them, though I am grateful there is this album. If you’re into psychedelic garage rock, psychedelic pop, and/or garage rock from the mid-to-late 1960s, then you might want to consider checking out this album. If you do decide to give this album a listen, I sincerely do hope that you enjoy the listening experience at least as much as I did.