In the past, Slow Mass have made clangy and heartfelt post-hardcore, and they’ve been good at it. We made the Chicago band a Band To Watch in 2016, and they released their impressive debut album On Watch last year. On past records, Slow Mass have found a big, satisfying, explosive sound, one built around crashing guitar chords and unstable dynamics and searching harmonies. But on their new song “Siren,” Slow Mass ditch the crashing guitar chords and the unstable dynamics, leaving only the searching harmonies. And it might be the best thing they’ve ever done.
At the risk of being glib, “Siren” sounds like the kind of thing you might expect from a band called Slow Mass. The song comes from the On Watch sessions, but it sounds like nothing on the album. It’s a slow, glacial, gorgeous song, sung entirely over a warm and enveloping organ-drone. It still finds ways to build. Lyrically, frontman Dave Collins with disturbing dream-imagery. The song reminds me a bit of early low, or of Advance Base’s devastating 2018 album Animal Companionship. It’s the sort of song you can get lost in.
Slow Mass are releasing “Siren” on a new 7″ single called Music For Ears 1, the first in what promises to be an ongoing series. The B-side is a cover of the Wilco classic “Reservations,” and that cover is sadly not online yet. (They recorded that cover for a forthcoming benefit compilation that the podcast Better Yet assembled.) But “Siren” is reason enough to order the thing. Check it out below.
The Music For Ears 1 7″ is out 4/12 on Landland Colportage, and you can order it here.