Y’all motherfuckers are out here playing, but we’re not: Mass Gothic’s 2016 debut LP was one of the best pop records of the past decade. The project from former Hooray For Earth spiritual leader Noel Heroux found a brilliant sweet spot between his prior band’s penchant for heavy-but-melodic crunch and the urgency of modern pop, delivering jangly, skeletal-sweet jams like “Nice Night” and “Every Night You’ve Got To Save Me,” songs that would still be stuck in your silly dome if you gave them a proper shake two years ago.
By now it’s to late for regrets and apologies, because Mass Gothic is back with another tidal shake in “J.Z.O.K.”, the latest soundwave offering from sophomore record I’ve Tortured You Long Enough. The LP hits August 31 through Sub Pop, and is the first effort that finds Heroux in front-page collaboration with wife and longtime musical collaborator Jessica Zambri (who moved us back when with her own band, Zambri). The video shows the pair cavorting through the city in the early a.m. hours, and was directed by fellow one-time Bostonian and frequent Mass Gothic visualizer Addison Post of Loroto Productions.
Here’s word from Sub Pop, who grasp this development better than most: “Even when you’re married and you’re best friends and you’ve spent a lifetime collaborating with each other, it’s not often obvious what’s staring you right in the face. I’ve Tortured You Long Enough is the tongue-in-cheek title of Mass Gothic’s second album for this reason, among several others. Husband/Wife duo Heroux and Zambri have always dipped in and out of each other’s creative spaces, advising on their respective outputs and supporting one another. But never had they before completely committed to doing an entire album as a duo, sharing an equal load. The time had come. And thank goodness. They have dreamed up a record packed with the tension, chaos and beauty of a fluid and cathartic two-way conversation. In a universe increasingly threatening our abilities to work hard on communication and coexistence, their creative union isn’t just inspired but important. ‘Why did it take us so long?’ laughs Heroux.”
Get into “J.Z.O.K.” below, and stand by for some summer or fall Mass Gothic dates. Because we need them, too.