Mass Gothic - Mass Gothic - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Mass Gothic - Mass Gothic

by James Weiskittel Rating:6 Release Date:2016-02-05

Sometimes you just need a fresh start. And nowhere reflects this age old axiom (that is often painfully all too true) quite like the world of rock ’n roll, where almost every single legendary artist has risen from the ashes of some other fallen act.

When the indie-rockers Hooray for Earth embarked on a somewhat permanent hiatus last year, rumors almost immediately began to surface that frontman Noel Heroux had something else up his sleeve. And that ‘something else is the soon-to-be-released, self-titled debut from Mass Gothic, a fiery debut from a band that sounds like it has been in the works for quite some time.

The album opens with Heroux plaintively stating “So I made a mistake” during the first moments of “Mind Is Probably”, and one can’t help but notice the palpable sense of ’new beginning’ that begins to unravel as the song builds to its riveting climax.

But Mass Gothic (both the album and the band) are not so simply reduced to forlorn ruminations, as songs like “Pier Pressure” and “I Want To Bad” reveal themselves confidently, dutifully digging deep into the ‘indie-rock’ playbook.

While the album is built upon a foundation of explosive drums, throw-back synths and a judicious peppering of fuzzed out guitars, the backbone of Mass Gothic is Noel Heroux’s detached (yet somehow emotive) voice (and sometimes falsetto?) which does a commendable job of tying all of these otherwise disparate elements together.

The only knock against Mass Gothic would be that the album feels a bit unbalanced, where the fuzzed out alt-rock of “Nice Night” (the single and hand’s down the album’s best track) and “Soul” feel like unintentional respites form the otherwise synth-pop heavy elements of the record.  But having an album’s best tracks leaveing you wanting more is hardly a condemnation, and Mass Gothic functions best (as most good albums do) when listened to as a whole, as the songs tend to blossom within the context of each other.

A solid debut for a seasoned Indie-rock vet, Mass Gothic will undoubtably build upon this intriguing release in the months ahead as it takes to the road in 2016.


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