Registered Mourner – Numb Spectator (2020)

The political landscape of the last year has been something else. The contortions of the political world have been channelled and crafted by Registered Mourner into their EP Numb Spectator. Through the tracks of the EP, the band looks at the off-kilter feeling everyone has been left with while seeking some resolution to everything.

The art-rock band based in Melbourne looks to turn the political unrest the world has faced into a compelling body of work. This has been artfully achieved through an EP that is packed with suspense, emotional pay-offs and unsure footing. The emotions of the EP are highlighted by the tense balance and precise harmonies of the soundscape.

The EP starts with ‘Buyer’s Regret’ which draws you in with a slightly dark guitar opening. The guitar-driven melody has an infectious feeling to it that pulls you into the single. The vocals continue the dark edge of the opening before soaring on the chorus. The lyrics are relatable as they lay out getting drawn in by a conman and feeling buyer’s regret. This is something many people have felt at some point whether with products or politics.

‘But, When’ has a more sombre feeling to the opening. There is a slight bounce to the melody that makes you move to the rhythm when it hits. It is a very interesting movement that keeps you captivated as the vocals wrap around you. While sombre, there is an almost relaxed flow to the music that you can sit back and let wash over you.

The light opening of ‘Divisible by Trouble’ is a little at odds with the lyrics. The anxiety threaded into the lyrics and vocal performance is an opposing force to the breezy melody. The acoustic guitar lines have an airy feeling that puts you at ease while the vocals cause a bubble of anxiety to rise from your stomach. There are these beats that enter later that add a hint of anxiety to the melody and get your heart racing.

Registered Mourner

The next track is ‘The Now Is Nigh’ which continues the easy melody while adding a little edge of the seaside to the music. The vocals have a different feeling on this track as they have a more chilled flow to them. The dark edge from the tracks before gives way to something more accepting and uplifting. There is a sense of acceptance threaded into the vocals and the lyrics that leads you to feel that the here and now is what matters.

‘Orange Haze’ has an almost folk feeling to the acoustic guitar-driven melody. This melds with the layered vocals and the complex emotions that weave their way into your senses. The vocals creep across your ears with a growing sense of horror at what is happening. The beats that pulse from the depths of the melody enhance this horror as they add an ominous edge to the light guitar lines. This is a very relatable single as we have all felt this creeping horror at the political world at some point in the last few years. It is worth taking the time to really listen to the lyrics of this track.

The EP closes with the title track ‘Numb Spectator’ which has a deep guitar opening that rests in a sombre place. The vocals have a whispered quality like they are creeping out of the darkness. There is a searching feeling to the vocals as the lyrics look for a resolution. It is a great ending to the emotive EP as it captures how many people are feeling right now.

Registered Mourner takes on the political world with their emotive and artful EP Numb Spectator. Each track looks at the different emotions we have all felt over the past few years from a creeping sense of horror to anxiety and a depressed numbness to everything. These emotions are woven into a dynamic soundscape full of undulating guitar lines which sonically represent the off-kilter footing of the world.

Find out more about Registered Mourner on their Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.

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