My generation has a habit of pining for the ’90s, and there’s no wonder why really, as we all are somehow stuck in our childhood. In many ways, the Romanian band The Case brings back our favorite things about those years, about alternative, grunge-pop – with a twist – about Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Soundgarden.
The Case is back at it with a new song ‘Mountain of Pain,’ and it absolutely blew me away. From catchy melodies to gritty riffs, ‘Mountain of Pain‘ is a sprawling track, spanning alternative, grunge, and garage, streamlined under pop supervision that makes it one of the greatest and most infectious Romanian releases this year. This mix brought me right back to my Soundgarden phase (which, let’s be honest, isn’t just a phase). It’s the type of track that the Romanian genre has been craving for quite a while, with only a few bands prepared to provide such a confidently cerebral sound that The Case achieves on this one.
From its opening moments, ‘Mountain of Pain‘ rocks out shamelessly: an exhibition of powerful vocals courtesy of Alfred Paros, glorious riffs, and cut-to-the-bone lyrics. But it’s also refreshing to see hints of current trends in the song, such as synth waves, or indie, for example.
Debating themes such as depression, the track introduces the band confidently, with a brooding atmosphere to burn. It’s actually hard not to feel like you’re being submersed as the bass lines swallow you from below, while the crunchy guitars build a wall around you and sharp drums shove you down again and again. This is how burnout and depression must feel.
Anyway, ‘Mountain of Pain‘ is a stand-out track for a reason; its sturdy chorus and twinkling verses make it earworm-worthy. But it’s the sick-ass riffs and angry vocals that transition to that gritty rock that oh, I so love. With everything that the world has gone through the past couple of years, and everything I personally have been through the past two years, ‘Mountain of Pain‘ really spoke to me. “I’ll do it whatever it takes for as long I am/ This is a fight to the death with a mountain of pain.”
The Case revives an exhausted genre I’d say, plunging deeper into the sound while pushing its boundaries from the inside out. From the 2:19 minute, the track just hits differently. You’d feel a striking blow of realism as it confronts you with a far more hurtful memory. This is a powerful chapter in the progression of Romanian alternative music, and The Case leaves the scene upturned as we itch; hungry for more.
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