WHO ARE THEY? A quartet of British post-punk upstarts who landed on my radar (and everyone else’s) nearly a year ago with their outstanding EP I Have Love — but have somehow managed to remain too obscure to earn a Wikipedia page yet.
WHAT IS THIS? Their eagerly anticipated debut full-length Mass — which quite happily turns out to be a consistently impressive and royally entertaining coming-of-age work that delivers the goods without overshooting the mark.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? A great start. Despite being barely out of their teens, these four Londoners hit the ground running on 11 tightly wound tracks that combine driving beats, choppy guitar riffs and urgent vocals into anthemic mosh-pit nuggets.
WHAT SHOULD IT BE TITLED? Mass Appeal.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? While dividing your attention between the band’s fiery intensity and frontman Theo Polyzoides’ cleverly poetic confessions.
WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Adrenalized, cathartic, scruffy, wiry, anxious, precocious, propulsive, rambunctious, surging, tattered.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? Firecrackers like Mascara Runs and Chinese Medicine are their stock in trade — but more mellow, melodic and jangly numbers like I Saw Blue and Black Tree prove they have more than one speed.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS SAY? ‘That Wikipedia page won’t be far off now.’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? As often as you can.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE BEVERAGE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? A triple espresso spiked with several shots of gin.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL IT? Toss a buck in the collection plate.