Release Date: Feb 5, 2016
Record label: Sub Pop Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Indie Rock
"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.
In the lead up to Mass Gothic’s release, project architect Noel Heroux was quoted saying he felt uninspired and frustrated. His decade with Hooray For Earth ended in 2014, Heroux’s creative juices drained. To read his statements, you’d think Heroux was down for the count. And yet, the artistic drive hadn’t dwindled entirely, and Heroux started over with Mass Gothic.
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.
Head here to submit your own review of this album. Regeneration is the order of the day for the latest Sub Pop signee, former Hooray For Earth frontman Noel Heroux. After two full-length albums and a few EPs, his previous band called it a day in 2014. Heroux makes the final days of that band sound like a desperate trudge.
Here comes the cliché: there’s a handful of good songs on Mass Gothic – enough to constitute a strong, promising EP. A good album it is not, however, which is a shame given the alluring sound ex-Hooray for Earth frontman Noel Heroux sketches on Nice Night and Soul; a sort of downtempo indie rock with meaty, dour guitars filtered through glitchy effects. Pier Pressure and Money Counter are the other keepers, the former a patient melodic number which, sporting ethereal keys and a chopped up drum solo, could pass for a gloomy Tame Impala cut.