Thursday, August 30, 2018

Dark Window: A Brief Review Of The New Album From Mass Gothic

The new album from Mass Gothic, I've Tortured You Long Enough, drops on Sub Pop tomorrow. It's a fine record and one that surprised me upon first listen.

The music made by this husband-and-wife duo of Noel Heroux and Jessica Zambri is ornate, intense, and lovely, and sometimes all at once. Opener "Dark Window" purrs like some weird mix of label-mates Beach House and The Ronettes, while the whirring "Call Me" sees the duo chase electro-pop glories off into the void. If these tunes and others here on I've Tortured You Long Enough all have a uniform sheen, it's an earned one, for rarely does this material ever descend into anything less than memorable. The elegant "Keep On Dying" sounds a bit like Garbage at their best, while the sublime "How Do I Love You" made me think of both Burt Bacharach and Jon Brion, even as the tune rides a light, vaguely industrial vibe forward.

Heroux and Zambri are interested in pop here on I've Tortured You Long Enough despite the trappings that suggest other genres and forms (dream-pop on "Big Window", for instance). If the members of Mass Gothic get caught up in the chamber-pop aspects of their work here, the tunes are uniformly strong, and very rarely do things get muddled. Heck, a song like "New Work" very nearly sounds like something one would have heard on Top 40 Radio in the Eighties. And to say that is to offer the sort of praise that these two were looking for, I think.

I've Tortured You Long Enough is out tomorrow on Sub Pop.

More details on Mass Gothic via the band's official Facebook page.

[Photo: Shawn Brackbill]