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Issue # 56 - Best of 2015 - Father John Misty and Wolf Alice

Mass Gothic

Sub Pop

Feb 05, 2016 Issue # 56 - Best of 2015 - Father John Misty and Wolf Alice Bookmark and Share

“So I made a mistake/How many hours can I spend silently in one room?” So begins the debut album by Mass Gothic, a new solo project by former Hooray For Earth frontman Noel Heroux. After the release of Hooray For Earth’s final album, 2014’s excellent RACY, Heroux found himself depressed and creatively stunted, and what began as a solo project had to end to make way for another one. So he removed all expectations and returned to his simple songwriting roots, and the result is a freshly dynamic and promising debut.

Sonically, Mass Gothic doesn’t hew far from Hooray For Earth. The guitars and drums are loud and punchy, and the surrounding atmosphere is heavily reverbed, synthetic yet warm. Even so, it’s easy to understand why Heroux had to start over with a new project: where RACY flip-flopped between up-tempo numbers and slow-burn ballads, Mass Gothic is stuffed to the brim with thrilling anthems. Opener “Mind Is Probably,” reminiscent of early Tame Impala, accelerates to an overwhelming wall of rock noise. Similarly, headphones can barely contain the energetic rush of “Want To, Bad.” Additionally, Heroux has some new tricks up his sleeve. “Every Night You’ve Got to Save Me” rides an irresistible doo-wop beat, juxtaposing its sober lyrics against bouncy, fun instrumentation. “Money Counter” and the sweet, simple closer “Subway Phone” demonstrate Heroux’s unique sense of melody.

All over Mass Gothic‘s tracklist, it’s evident that Heroux is completely reinvigorated. Here is the sound of a musician exploring a new freedom and finding his stride. It may not be the most polished album he’s been a part of (RACY probably still claims that title), but it’s hard not to imagine this being the beginning of another successful venture. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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