Saturday, August 21, 2010

Mass Undergoe in the Middle of My Mind Forever

As promised, I deliver to you all now a sick, new alternative/progressive-rock band out of Vancouver, Canada. Grown from the same breeding ground as Irreverents and Incura, Mass Undergoe is a hard-rock four-piece with a rough and ready sound that bleeds from the speaks the minute you hit the "Play" button. It must be something in that Vancouver water, but the minute I hear the first chords of the first song on Mass Undergoe's Myspace playlist, I'm immediately hooked by a guitar and vocal dynamic that punches hard, and stings with the bite of a forgotten love. Maybe that's too far reaching, but I don't care, because that's what I get from it. I don't know about you guys out there, but it definitely means something to me when a song creates such a strong tidal wave of emotion that I start getting all literary.
Comprising members David Isbister (lead vocals), Alan Calimbas (guitar), Marino Mestrovic (bass), and Brandon Lazenby (drums), Mass Undergoe's music melds the intricate intensity of Van Halen and Rush with the serrated ferocity of Three Days Grace and Fuel. Already, even before I work my way halfway down their setlist, Mass Undergoe blows my mind with songs like "Middle of the Week Forever" and "The Flesh Eating Parade," as Isbister's vocals are stop and start, hard-core one minute, then high and indie-influenced the next. The vocal versatility of their singer can only spell hardbound success for the MU guys, and it only gets better from there.
"I Saw You on a Rainy Day" is, from second one, driven by two forces: Isbister's voice and Mestrovic's bass. With a certain vocal dynamic that is questioning and resilient, Isbister blasts me through driving verses and choruses that take off and soar. Mestrovic's bass lines immediately pull me in. Hard and tuneful, the lines drive the screws into this immediate masterpiece. Mass Undergoe proves early on that a song doesn't have to be complicated to be great. This one is simple, with a common verse/chorus/verse structure, and yet it seems so much more than that. While Mestrovic's lines take care of the verses, Calimbas' guitar chords are strong, and the distortion he uses makes sure that they're not forgotten. Taking his rightful place front and center during the mini-bridge after the second chorus, Calimbas trades chord and note melodies with Isbister's voice to create a sonic show in my head I won't soon forget. Behind it all is Lazenby, a powerhouse of rhythm and loose conviction whose kit is alive with the sounds and influences of everyone from Keith Moon to Dave Grohl.
Mass Undergoe continues its heavy melodic sound with "This Abundance of Truth." Again Mestrovic is right in front with bass licks that make me think of The Offspring's "Self-Esteem." This one's a little more alternative than "Self-Esteem," but the bass-heavy chords are there, and, being as that's one of my favorite songs of all time, I'm already more than very partial towards this song. One of the interesting aspects of "This Abundance of Truth" that only serves to make it a more unique track is its change in time signature about halfway through. With a seamless change that seems almost reminiscent of fellow Canadians Rush, Mass Undergoe keeps up a driving rhythm as Lazenby cork-screws through his kit, surrounding me in a rhythmic bliss. I love how Isbister's voice comes off here: more hard-core and desperate than in "I Saw You on a Rainy Day," and Calimbas' guitar solo, though short, is still sweet and brilliant. A jewel in the crown of a song that already boasts more than most songs could ever hope to, Calimbas' solo pushes this one way over the top and makes it a must-hear five-star track for me.
I'm conflicted over which track I should wrap up with, so I wonder why not try both. "I Dug My Grave and Walked Away" has a guitar rhythm that's infectious and Isbister's voice is low and philosophical, while Mestrovic's bass is a dominant force in the song. But I'm also drawn to "Middle of the Week Forever," however, with its amazing rhythm and chord sections. Lazenby's drumming here is fantastic, and brings to this hard-rock soon-to-be-single an alternative/punk flavor that spins this one in a direction you wouldn't see a foot away. That's what I love and look for though: a song that keeps you guessing at every turn.
I don't know how these guys aren't a national name act yet. It's a possibility that they could be up in Canada, but why they're not opening shows with Nickelback and Three Days Grace down here in the States is way beyond me. Anyone, group or solo artist, with this kind of intensity deserves that national stage as much as anyone already on it. One thing that sets Mass Undergoe apart, and even beyond (in my opinion) some of those people who are playing on those national stages, is their lyrical writing. I wasn't comparing these guys to Rush just musically; their lyrics are easy to hear, and deep in ways that give their songs new and brilliant levels. You all gotta hear this guys, so go get of your asses and go check them out. Mass Undergoe is coming, and when they arrive it's gonna be huge.

Sounds Like: Three Days Grace, Stone Sour, Fuel

Key Tracks: "I Saw You on a Rainy Day," "This Abundance of Truth," "Middle of the Week Forever," "I Dug My Grave and Walked Away"

Check out Mass Undergoe more at: and!/pages/Mass-Undergoe/20334940644?v=wall&ref=ts

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts