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Mass Gothic

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Album Review

After nearly a decade with his synth-canoodling indie pop band Hooray for Earth, lead singer and songwriter, Noel Heroux, feeling the pressure of certain expectations, called it quits and set out for a fresh start. Though membership would expand when it came time for live shows, that "clean slate," Mass Gothic, operated as a solo affair throughout the first album's writing and recording process, which took place at Heroux's home. The resulting self-titled debut is more mass than gothic, pinballing between lively synth pop, crunchy lo-fi, and sweeping guitar-based tunes, nearly all wistful in tone but with nary a dour moment. "Every Night You've Got to Save Me," but for Heroux's always pensive-sounding vocals and self-doubting lyrics ("I make my mind up like several times a year/Really this time, really this time"), is downright effervescent with female "ooh ooh" backing vocals, skipping pop drums, and a hooky, insistent chorus. Similarly, if darker, "Want To, Bad" and "Territory" are driving, dancy pieces of synthy post-punk. The meat of the album, however, comprises dramatic, searching, guitar-centric songs, some of which wallow in moments of immensity. "Nice Night," for instance, churns and strums its way from brooding reflection to quaking wails ("Every day in the morning/The night begins not to be"). More experimental in nature are the daydreamy, ever modulating "Own the Road" and the psych/garage-inspired tome, "Soul." The lo-fi vibe and scattered effects present throughout Mass Gothic tie everything together, so it doesn't play like a jumble but rather a passionate, moody exploration matched by its impressionistic, uncertain lyrics ("What to hold onto?/It's easier today/Give me time anyway"). Not for background listening, the album rewards repeat plays and gets the new project off to an impressively cathartic start.

Customer Reviews

Top Album of 2016..,

... in the pop rock field, so far. This is my opinion . Creative, flexible, melodic and earnest song writing. Saw them perform live and they can deliver!

Biography

Formed: 2015 in New York City, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '10s

Mass Gothic is a New York City-based indie rock band led by singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Noel Heroux, formerly of Hooray for Earth, which disbanded in 2014. Sub Pop snatched up the new project in 2015, which made its live debut at a Sub Pop/Hardly Art CMJ showcase headlined by Protomartyr that October. The fuzzy, despondent first single "Nice Night" appeared soon after. With Heroux describing the project as a fresh start, he wrote and recorded the eponymous...
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Mass Gothic, Mass Gothic
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