Review by Paul Monkhouse for MPM
Mason Hill have been a band on the lips of many since forming in their native Glasgow, the five piece having played all over the country and prestigious slots at Download, Ramblin Man and Steelhouse festivals amongst others.
After a couple of frustrating false starts, their full-length debut is finally with us and it’s been well worth the wait, fulfilling all the promise that their incendiary live shows pointed to.
Ambitious in scope and intent, this twelve-track release highlights the mature songwriting of the Scots along with their committed and effective playing, the quintet working together like well-oiled machine.
After the atmospheric and short intro ‘Reborn’ switches in the driving riff of ‘No Regret’ you know you’re in for a great ride, the band instantly stamping ‘classic’ onto the album.
As it stomps all over you, you can’t help but think of Alter Bridge and Nickelback, the Glaswegians determined to take the big boys on at their own game.
Coming from a city renowned the world over for its toughness and brawling spirit, it’s no wonder then that ‘Against The Wall’, ‘Broken Son’ and ‘Find My Way’ are shot through with the sort of snotty and muscular defiance displayed by an underdog boxer in the fight of his life.
These guys are no rookies though, cutting their teeth and working on their craft the hard way, hours in a van up and down the length and breadth of the nation has brought them to this point.
It won’t be long until tracks like the relentless ‘D.N.A.’, piledriving ‘We Pray’ and the raging ‘Hold On’ are filling the arenas they were built for, the production suitably big but never too slick.
Even the ballads shine, eschewing the obvious saccharine tropes, there is a sense of real feeling here that actually connects with the listener and lifts them from the ordinary.
The band certainly know how to put a melody line together and in Scott Taylor they have a vocalist who can handle the full on, balls out rock numbers but can also turn in heartfelt performances that sell the songs for what they truly are.
Forged in fire, the band seemingly have a bond that will see them ready to face the forthcoming challenges as they ascend the heady heights, using ‘Against The Wall’ as their launch towards the big leagues.
With a debut as assured as this it will be interesting to see where they go next, standing shoulder to shoulder with other big hopes like Those Damn Crows and Stone Broken there’s plenty to be proud of in these homegrown contenders for our hearts and those the other side of the Atlantic.
As Mason Hill well understand, timing is everything.
Feature photo by – Darren Griffiths Photography
New album ‘Against the Wall’ available to BUY NOW