Masshysteri - Masshysteri (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Masshysteri (2010)

Feral Ward

Masshysteri (translated from Swedish, "mass hysteria," which should not be that difficult to take a stab at guessing) were formed out of the remnants of the Vicious, a Swedish band who sang in English. The immediate difference between the two bands is that Masshysteri took the decision to sing in their native language, a move that often puts some (narrow-minded?) people off a variety of art forms (I despair at those who claim watching a subtitled film is "hard work").

However, despite having not a clue as to what they're singing about (the lyric sheet is all in Swedish), that doesn't detract in any way as to the enjoyment this slab of vinyl provides. Although classed as punk, it would probably be more appropriate to say this (Masshysteri's second album) has a lot of elements that make the music more new wave mixed with some punk, both of the poppy kind and also a bit of the late 1970s sound too. This combination makes for an album that is extremely easy to listen to with a catchiness that is in your face from the off. The use of female/male (Sara Almgren/Robert Pettersson) vocals works well, and the Swedish language has a quality that really does suit this form of music (just like the Italian language is perfect for uptempo melodic hardcore) and reminds me a bit of the Welsh language band Anhrefn mixed in with a touch of the Saints.

It's difficult to pick out any weaknesses here as the album, although not perfect, has a consistent level of good, quality songs throughout and is a really good listen. As is often the case I'm starting listening to a band's output from the end of their career, as Masshysteri are now no more, but I'm looking forward to getting ahold of their first LP and two 7" singles to see if they are anywhere near as good as this final piece of work.

My version is the U.S. release on Feral Ward but this was originally out on the excellent label Ny Vag Records, which is well worth checking out as it's got a fine collection of releases under its belt.