Mimic Octopus bring back grunge for all of us

Were you a grunge kid in your teen years? Do you miss that Seattle sound in modern music? Well then, Mimic Octopus might be just what you need. The Copenhagen trio just released their self-titled album exclusively on Bandcamp.

Mimic Octopus are, or were, a grunge band of two women and a trans man, who got together in 2017. Lead singer Giulia Consonni, also known as Kawn from Karrierekanonen 2017, wanted to transform her sound. She found bass player Cæcilie Emborg (from a Danish feminist band Revulva) and drummer Ask Stig Kistvad (former guitarist of Neon Woods). Unfortunately, Mimic Octopus have already split up, but their music “will be its own beast,” as they say. Still, it’s sad to hear these wonderful sounds and know that the band might never play them on stage again. 

Back to the music, the beast itself. Mimic Octopus describe their style as “a mixture between Alice in Chains at a slumber party and Spice Girls with a depression”. My teen alter ego was smitten by the mention of my favourite grunge band, so I had to give them a listen.

“The album is the culmination of a beautiful encounter between three people who found each other through music,” Mimic Octopus explain. “Three people who are forever bound, and who have created something important that they wish to share with the world.” 

So I will share it with the world,  share it with you! The first two songs, “MOM” and “BUS” open up with the signature muddy guitar riffs every 90s’ kid is familiar with. “AGAIN” features the polyphony of vocals as we know and love it from singers like Layne Staley (rest in power) and Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains. This song presents itself as a full grunge opera, with varying moods, volumes and vocal intensity throughout.

A quieter piece is “BLACKOUT”. Mellow, muffled guitar and drums channel feelings of hopelessness and depression. Only Giulia’s voice delightfully breaks through these thick walls of fog. Had I discovered this song earlier, it would have been at the top of my “dark hygge” playlist. This music is cozy but not in an uplifting way. It makes you sink deeper into the comfort of your own inner darkness, the darkness that spreads inside of me when I listen to “BLACKOUT”.

However, on “MISJA”, loud vocals drown out the tuned-down instruments, which gives me riot grrrl vibes à la Bikini Kill or L7. “TELL US” brilliantly closes the record. All the little pieces that were introduced before, the loud, quiet, muffled instruments, the screaming, the choir, it all comes together to a grand finale of grunge. 

“MIMIC OCTOPUS” is an album that hits home for all grunge kids out there. The trio recreated the original 90s’ sound without trying to re-invent the genre and be new grunge or post-rock. This is straight-up GRUNGE in capital letters, and it feels original, it feels like home. The only difference from the 90s’ grunge might be that the songs on this album all have an easily digestible length of two to four minutes.

Thank you for building 30 minutes of safe space, Mimic Octopus. Don’t mind me while I’m wiping a tear or two about this being the end of your constellation as a band already.


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