Brisbane hardcore/groove merchants Massic have been through a lot since the release of last album Redshift in 2018, though in true Aussie spirit it hasn’t held them back, smashing through the speakers like they’re playing a gig in your lounge room.
Creating a purposeful sense of unease the album opens with calm, clean guitars building tension as the title track bubbles away before vocalist Si comes bellowing, in setting the scene for the upcoming relentless attack. It rolls seamlessly into Duplicity showing that the bite the band has ably displayed across stages translates perfectly to record.
Massic have never been afraid to stretch the boundaries of their sound, and the first evidence of this is the clean vocals injected into Plummet Back To Earth. Si has really managed to outdo himself with the melody he has been able to conjure up away from the bellow he is known for.
It’s A Drill sees the band team up with vocalist Stoyan from fellow local heavies Adriatic, creating an awesome vocal back and forth, along with one of the most serene breakdown moments on the record as the band resists the urge to constantly pummel the listener and instead creates a melody that you will have you humming for weeks. Hairbreadth and Enshrouded bring with them a feeling of late 90s Australian heavy with a little more punk attitude. The spoken word to heavy vocal rattle particularly of Hairbreadth and the pace of its follow up should keep everyone happy.
The militaristic beat that drives Surrender forward is as unrelenting as the band themselves, stopping for nothing and creating an excellent call and response breakdown before a quick shot of guitar magic pushes the track to its end. Meanwhile follow-up Assimilate has Massic channelling their inner The Acacia Strain with sludgey guitar chugs and a pace adjusted to molasses, all while Si rallies against the modern political environment and the fragility of warring nations’ egos. Even for a band with such a social conscience, this track feels like a different kind of heavy.
3 Minus 4 begins with news snippets that cover the last two and a half years of pandemic chaos with a little Donald Trump thrown in to help push a track about the tinfoil hat wearers of the world, and closing one of the heaviest tracks on the album with a piano lead feels like an inspired move here that strings it all together. Verity is a great closer, but on the right streaming platform the band has another track, because at this point too much Massic just isn’t enough. Portals is another strong track that brings in another great Brisbane vocalist in the form of Chris form Zero 1 Zero. The two vocalists try to out heavy each other vocally while lyrically working to save someone from an addiction before it’s too late.
This album is another feather in Massic’s cap and that of the mates they invited along, and for the strength and power of the Australian music scene. Having caught them live a decent amount of times, I leave you with some advice: next time these blokes are playing your local make sure to catch them. They are gonna go far.
3. Plummet Back to Earth
4. It’s A Drill
9. 3 Minus 4
11. Portals (Bonus Track)