Reviewed by Steven Ecott
Boston rockers Mass have seen a re-release of their 1988 album 'Take You Home'. The 1980s was the era of big hair and studded leather jackets, and it was early in this decade, 1984 in fact, that Mass became a band. With their roots firmly embedded in the metal scene that was taking America by storm, it was no surprise that Mass could produce some incredible material, and 'Take You Home' is a perfect example. Originally being released on Medusa Records, this re-release sees the record emerging from Retroactive Records (Bride, Saint). Opening up with "Pedal To The Metal", the album slides gracefully into the guitar-driven melody that characterises their signature '80s sound. "Want It Back" is another that leaps from the CD with personality. Opening up with a tight, pummelling drum solo, the track steam rolls its way through three minutes of metal madness, with vocalist Louis St August binding the track together with impressive highs that set him apart from many other metal vocalists of the era. That being said it is hard not to feel let down on occasion. The title track in particular seems to hold back in many respects; there's no real personality from Gene D'Itria's guitar work and the usually snappy, lively bass of Kevin Varrio seems rather rushed and unsatisfying. It couldn't be a further contrast from following track "Holy One" which sparks off with a meaty, grungy guitar riff that soon ploughs its way into an Iron Maiden-esque power ballad. This re-release offers a bonus track in the form of "Under The Gun", and what a bonus it is. Beginning timidly with a slow, soft acoustic guitar, accompanied by a church organ quietly in the background, it may come as a surprise for many Mass fans. Probably even more of a surprise when the track kicks in proper. I was presented with a riff so heavy one wonders if a forklift was used in its recording. This track is like a show reel of just how talented Mass were and still are.
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