BY ROBIN MUMFORD OF THE INDIE PLUG
Hear us out - you will be hard pressed to find a group that has come out the other side of a global pandemic in better working condition than MASK. Now, that’s certainly not to say that they have struggled, because we all have to some degree, but for this clique of Belfast rockers, they have produced an oil painting in the form of music with their latest release.
For fans of Arctic Monkeys, The White Stripes and The Black Keys, MASK are an Irish-based band fuelled by ferocious guitar sounds and infectious sing-alongs. Led by songsmith ‘H’ and lifelong friend Craig Coppock, the band are in fine hands once more in this monumental sophomore studio album - ‘Smiling Assassins.’
‘Smiling Assassins’ is a quintessential listen for any up-and-coming bands looking to be different. The album is refined and polished to supreme quality, and it explores a wide range of sounds to manifest a lasting impact on listeners. From the gutsy and mettlesome soundwave of ‘Glamourpuss’ to the razor-sharp and kaleidoscopic complexion of ‘Shakin Love,’ the release is distinctively well-tuned to a platter of tastes.
But, despite all the successes we expect from this release, it wouldn’t be the first time the band has seen triumph. Since the release of their 2018 debut ‘The Famous’, MASK have amassed over 1.25 million streams, and since their first appearance on the music scene, the band’s profile has never stopped soaring.
It’s not difficult to see why either. The Irish rockers have seemingly burnt the midnight oil to produce an album that easily slots into the upper echelons of musical creativity. Sometimes their songs come across as mysterious and thought-provoking, while other times, their releases burst into life with a groovy feeling that leaves you wanting nothing more but to dance in the kitchen.
And we don’t expect MASK to slow down on their trail to the upper classes of musical stardom. They’re stamping their authority on the music scene every time they release another jam, refusing to fall into the trap of sameness. ****