You may be familiar with Boston melodic hard rockers Mass simply because you're 1) from the New England area, 2) a severely thorough rock historian, or 3) you read the Dangerdog review of their latest release Sea of Black.
Regardless of how you know Mass, or if you don't then you should, our friends at Retroactive Records reach back to almost ancient hard rock history for these two seminal Mass recordings. Fighter is the long lost recording that Mass developed for A&M Records. Label and band management problems basically screwed this effort. But here it is for us to enjoy. The appropriately titled '84 Unchained finds the band loose of those conflicts and releasing on their own label a four song EP; this edition includes a fifth, previously unreleased, number called Bones.
Both Fighter and '84 Unchained are period pieces. Both reflect the American hard rock music scene of the day. These songs show how rock became heavier, but never lost melody and harmony. A thundering rhythm section forms a strong foundation for melodic hooks, pleasing vocal harmonies, and bristling guitar solos. Watch Her Walk, Part of Me, and Fighter from Fighter display the best of Mass. For their freedom, '84 Unchained contains some heavy stuff, especially Pedal to the Metal. But Holy One also shows that Mass could be both epic and inspirational.
Mining the history of a band's early efforts can be a blessing or curse. In the case of Mass it's definitely the former. Both Fighter and '84 Unchained are a delight, classic reminders of the best melodic rock from the Eighties. Pick up some history and buy both. Very recommended.
Mining the history of a band's early efforts can be a blessing or curse. In the case of Mass it's definitely the former. Both Both Fighter and '84 Unchained are a delight, classic reminders of the best melodic rock from the Eighties.
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