Album review: Mason Hill – Against The Wall

Scottish rockers Mason Hill break for the border with long awaited, cathartic full-length debut...

Album review: Mason Hill – Against The Wall
Steve Beebee

'This life has taken its toll / I know I’ve made such a mess,' rues Mason Hill frontman Scott Taylor on No Regret, Against The Wall's opening track proper. It prepares you for what is a commendably honest and earnest debut, one that has taken several years to materialise. It was way back in December 2015 that the quintet issued their self-titled EP. Since then they’ve seen a record deal come and go, and looked on in some despair at a career apparently derailed.

A crowdfunding campaign put them back on their feet, and the band have thanked supporters by recording an album that stands head and shoulders above their EP. It is music supercharged by adversity and is simply better in every department. The title-track and DNA pulse with fraught emotions and hefty hooks, while We Pray – towards the end – is an alarm call built around rippling riffs and a little glitchy electronica. As if to illustrate their progress, they revisit previously recorded ballad Where I Belong and blitz the original, and James Bird’s guitar soloing here is a thing worth putting life on pause for.

None of the songs are less than decent, but some do come across as overly familiar variations on similar themes, and Mason Hill’s biggest challenge is the quality of the big-hitting competition their music now bears comparison to. The signs, though, are positive. They’re going to need all the ambition and eye-opening improvements they’ve displayed up to now, but its that very potential – showcased admirably here – that’s the most exciting thing of all.

Verdict: 3/5

For Fans Of: Alter Bridge, Monster Truck, Wayward Sons

Against The Wall is released on March 5 via 7Hz.

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