Black Mass – Collegians (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Collegians 2_previewIt always pays to know your place in musical history, knowing where you come from is just as important as knowing where you are going. It is something that Collegians seem to understand all too well as within the swirling depths of Black Mass you can here everything from the pulsing echoes of Depeche Mode as they dropped their pop identity and headed into darker realms, their guitar wielding electro-rock successors Muse and current sonic genre-splicers such as Suzerain.

It’s a realm where high drama and rock theatre prevail but for all that this Melbourne quartet steer just the right side of bombast and their musical weight seems texture and layered rather than merely thrown on. Beats are precise yet aggressive, basses pulse and guitars scythe, and all of this is swathed in trippy electronica and washes of futuristic synth. Fine lines are being walked here between the traditional rock stamping grounds and a heavy dance grove, between the sounds of opposing past musical approaches finding common ground and the potential of where that may take them. More than anything it is the sound of a band who have listened, learnt and adapted and along the way are at the fore-front of a new wave, a new approach to a new rock approach.

This is rock for a new generation, rock wearing a coat of many generic colours, rock realising that the tribalism and demarkations that have long kept the genre on a very straight and predictable path need to be abandoned, more than anything this is rock embracing the future, beginning a new chapter and having fun along the way. Why didn’t anyone think of this before?

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