Music Review: Addiction and Dependency by MASK

Brighton based noise rock duo MASK released their debut EP Addiction and Dependency earlier this year. Consisting of five tracks the EP is quite possibly one of my favourite unsigned releases so far this year.
MASK Esquires
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Who are MASK?

MASK are a noise rock duo who are currently based in Brighton. Having released their debut EP in January the band has racked up over 1000 streams on a few of their tracks so far. Their influence from fellow Brighton rockers, Royal Blood, is clear in abundance and blends together with their own sound to create something that is subtly anthemic. 

© Laura Tucker

Opening with Live in Fear, Addiction and Dependency starts off strong with a guitar riff that is reminiscent of 90s rock with a modern-day twist. The vocal melody gives me major vibes of early Mallory Knox, which is an instant winner for me. The soaring vocal line makes for a smooth delivery that gives the song a subtle edge whilst still having a powerful tone. 

Second track Mask only ups the ante of an already impassioned release. With a marching drum beat and vocalised defiance Mask holds nostalgia for protest songs of the past. 

With a surprisingly uplifting undertone, Mask is the song that makes this EP a great listen for me. The vocal backing in the choruses gives the song a feeling of fulfilment and plays to the idea of it being used for a purposeful, but non-physical fight. 

Mani, the longest track of the EP at five and a half minutes, is not one to be overlooked. It is often difficult to keep a song interesting that is over four minutes. However, MASK have managed just that. With a vibe that I can only describe as an amped-up version of Fall Out Boy, the song is simplistic in nature however it has enough ferocity to keep the listener attentive.

Halfway through the anthemic energy seems to dip however this slow build-in sound is a pretense. Do not be fooled into thinking the song will slowly fade away. With a start-stop section, the song slowly builds its intensity to resolve with a quick stop. This break is over in an instant and the song punches back through with an eruption of sound.  

Addiction and Dependency is an impressive debut EP that leaves me excited to see what MASK will be releasing next. Each track works well on its own, however, when played as a whole Addiction and Dependency is wonderfully fluent and comes together to create a release that leaves the listener wanting more.

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