Mass Perfect Picture of Wisdom and Boldness

Without a doubt in the world, Oakland’s the Mass are a talented bunch. They know their way around their instruments and impress with their chops. But this shit drives me up the wall — the feel of "ironic metal” shooting out of my speakers within seconds of the first track. Maybe it’s not fair; maybe these guys really love the genre, but when metal is combined with an indie rock production sound and a Touch & Go Records-like sense of artsy overplaying it comes across as contrived and trendy, a gaggle of hipsters sporting fresh Maiden back patches while doing lines off the toilet in the local scenester bar. Again, these guys are talented (the drumming rocks) and I love the ambition; I guess if they’re still doing this in a few years I’ll be less cynical about it. For now, it just brings to mind images of people trying to tell me the Fucking Champs are a band worth caring about; I get tired and just want to listen to something else. (Crucial Blast)