Everything Tangible

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The Mass Romantics

Cardinal Patrol

Taking on any kind of creative project under a deadline is an immense challenge.  Max Woghiren, aka The Mass Romantics put together a 7-song collection during the month of February.  He says that he fell a little short of his actual goals, but is satisfied with the output.  He should be more than happy with this solid group of songs. Once again, The Mass Romantics blend indie-rock style with Beatles-esque melodies. Indeed this album spans generations of musical convention featuring pieces such as Songs We Lost that mimic The Doors and Genesis, two fairly different bands.  These influences are implicit for Max rather than an overt effort.

The album starts out in triumphant fashion with the moving I Know That You Are a Decider.  He really shows his influences in a genuine way without succumbing to blatant copying.  This quality is very hard to find in popular music.  The second track The Fiction may give you flashbacks to the mid-90’s.  It is homage more than an exact copy.  Max has always been a skilled melodist, and on Cardinal Patrol he has really expanded the texturing of his songs.

Although each of the tracks is enjoyable, We Fall Together was my personal favourite. Coming in at 3’28 it is the second longest song on the album. It has an inexplicable quality that is both goofy and moving.  It also demonstrates Max’s influences in a compelling fashion.  In my mind I was transported to another place, particularly during the instrumental interludes.

Lyrical composition is a great strength of this collection. In the past, Max has been known to deride his writing. Cardinal Patrol, despite being written over only 28 days, is filled with compelling and well-written songs.

Max pays particular attention to creating an atmosphere on this album.  Monotony is the biggest risk in an album created in a month, but although the songs have an overarching textural quality, they each operate within it differently.  This is especially remarkable because the songs average about 3 minutes in length. That is not a lot of time to make an impact. Max is willing to change time and explore tangential ideas in even the shortest songs.

Overall, Cardinal Patrol is an album well worth checking out.  Although it is not available in wide release it is hoped that The Mass Romantics will be confident enough to let the world hear.  These songs are moving and dramatic.  It is 22 minutes in an alternative world where the vibe is solid and ideas are free.  There is no fear in these songs.  This is The Mass Romantics best album to date.

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