Lethbridge, Alberta has been on a real streak over the past few years as far as music is concerned. Mormon Girls, the city’s latest band, lives up to the hype of their hometown. Their debut album, released earlier this month, is full of dirty, grungy shoegazing rock that assails the senses while also creating an almost trance-inducing melody with Mick Hayward’s vocals.
The Farm Sessions was actually recorded in a run-down farmhouse just outside of Lethbridge, after Hayward’s solo project expanded in sound and scope to include Tyson Wiebe, Dan Banman and Jon Vornbrock. It was Wiebe’s push for something bigger that took Hayward’s subdued goal and turned it into the indie, shoegaze, hardcore mix that it is.
But by the third song on the EP, “City Lights Scream” it’s hard to say if Mormon Girls are a product of clashing indie and punk sounds within the musical ecosystem of Alberta, or if they’re somehow a latent 90s punk grunge band that’s been biding their time over the past decade. Hayward’s inclination to a more subdued sound can be heard in his vocals—while Banman’s guitar breaks out all over the place, Hayward keeps his vocals muted except for the occasional burst.
While the rhythms of the songs speed up and slow down, the almost monotone vocal delivery paired with loud, crashing music is obvious on every track. In The Farm Sessions it’s not a fault—the five-song EP is a strong debut—but the risk of repetitiveness is something the band may have to confront down the road with longer releases.
That being said, Hayward shows off some of what else he can do vocally on “Fake Oceans” and the band members play off each other with ease to create attention-grabbing music. There’s obviously plenty more to come from Mormon Girls.
Top Track: “City Lights Scream”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)