January 20th, 2010 by Ariel Awesome
It’s great when it’s hard to explain why a band is so awesome. It means something new and larger than words is at work in their music. Umeå, Sweden’s MASSHYSTERI is that awesome. The elements are easy enough to lay out. There are the surf-drenched guitars, the complementary lady/dude vocals and the rock ‘n’ roll frenzy of X, some of what has been brewing in Denmark and Sweden over the last decade with bands like GORILLA ANGREB, and NO HOPE FOR THE KIDS, and the ashes from which this band sprang: THE VICIOUS. But there is something more than that here too. It’s tuneful hooks that grab you and drag you into bleak and feral songs that threaten to pull you in two once you’ve been snared. It’s simultaneously melancholy, frantic, and joyfully danceable. It’s something wild and new and wholly it’s own.
For a taste, here’s a video for one of their iconic songs, “Tvivel,” that is totally simple in concept, but spellbinding to watch. What would it look like to undo the damage of war, to rewind, unbomb, unkill? Plus, how many punk bands actually have concept music videos, not just blown-out YouTube clips?