Red Mass "EP Rouge N.2" 12"

Red Mass has resurrected its m.i.a. dark side with this half platter of demonic synth punk, industrial bleat and metallic gruel. Dedicated to the Zulawski (RIP) flick Possession, "Rouge N.2" features some of Roy's finest hesher guit-fits yet and a throbbing electronic backbeat that cuts things real close to John Carpenter-ville. "Noir et Blanc" pairs Metal Urban with a dry-run through the Return Of The Living Dead score to nice effect. Dark riffs ala' Agent Orange or TSOL mood up the tune and add possible DJ heft where some of the other tracks would scare the average leather jacketed bopper off. I've always been fond of The Mass' collective experimental hive mind over their peppier glam-pop leanings, so when "Confession D'un Chacal" and "Infidele" crank out a Laibach grind, fuggeredly warbled solos and an aggressive thrash blast writhing through a mechanized pulse, it swells my guts with warmth. The lo-fi guitar belch and propulsive pound of "KDAVR" brings forth a ghetto Maiden gallop to most of their art spunk. "Apres Moi Deluge"seals the tomb with a stompin' groove and a reoccurring banshee screech of a string stab. Stylistically, this sucker is more in line with the earliest RM collections (the S/T 12" for instance) and it's a pretty great return to form for this ever changing collective. Surely I'm forgetting something from the past mailbags, but for now I'm comfortable saying this is possibly the finest one-sided, thematically cohesive EP since Feeling Of Love's love letter to Julie Cafritz a few yeas back. WARNING: It's in French, so dumb 'muricans like myself have no goddamn clue what's being sung, but it's safe to assume it isn't all munchkin cats and rainbow sherbet in there. Oh yeah - the flip features an etching of some mystical shit that I'm sure Jodorowski would love to throw onto his next tarot deck. Impressed. (RSF)

(Mondo Mongo - Slovenly Records //