Massa Confusa. 10.9.16. Head of Steam.


Massa Confusa are a very interesting band.  Tonight’s gig and their SoundCloud recordings, suggest great potential for developing into a really considerable unit.

Sounding and playing with core elements of the finest post-punk bands (PiL and Magazine) the MC arrive tonight like well conditioned fighters.  They have a clear confidence in their material, their vision and their musical abilities, a feat which is well supported by the fact that the Head of Steam seems to have no volume limit; not a bad thing when your music almost demands that it is played loud.

As a 2-piece, MC’s music centers around a pounding, dub-heavy, bass.  Matt O’Brien demonstrates his competency by producing rumbling bass sounds which provide elements of darkness and claustrophobia- core ingredients to the overall purpose of the sound.  O’Brien style suggests Tina Weymouth or Steve Severin, making intense music intimate and personable; difficult given the intense personal feelings on display tonight from main songwriter Ally Morton.

Morton’s songwriting is art-punk and combines musical elements of reggae, funk, punk, industrial and trip-hop.  There are interesting sounds which create a sound that brings a claustrophobic, tight, paranoid feeling to proceedings.  Tracks are titled ‘Secret’, ‘Faster’, and ‘Corrupted’ and supporting lyrics appear incredibly personal and introspective (‘Never give up, never regret’, ‘I’ve got a secret i won’t tell you, i’ve got a secret i won’t tell’).  The lyrics sound easy to listen to, but in the wider context of the musical sound, they’re not; this is challenging music set to a tension between academic intelligence and natural instinct- something say akin to Howard Devoto, Robert Smith, or Thurston Moore.

Soundtrack samples are played between/ at the end of songs, linking the MC even closer to Magazine and their fascination at the time with John Barry.

This is a band with real potential.



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