Mass Mental?
How to Write Love Songs


3.5
great

Review

by Philip Whitehead USER (27 Reviews)
December 2nd, 2012 | 5 replies


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One of the forgotten supergroups. Crazy as hell but an interesting listen and a good find for rare music collectors.

In 1998, after the demise of ragga-punk outfit Dub War, the eccentric Welsh singer Clive "Benji" Webbe hooked up with then Suicidal Tendencies bassist Robert Trujillo for a short lived side project called "Mass Mental", with a rotating lineup accompanying them mostly featuring second bassist Armand Sabal-Leco and Bad Religion's Brooks Wackerman (and according to Skindred's Mikeydemus, one of the final recordings of Lynn Strait but I have no idea where on the record), to create a truly bizarre record.

Actual guitars rarely feature in this album, if at all, with the bassists making adequate cover for the loss. Some parts of opener "Bounce" use distortion to fill in perfectly - who needs guitars when you have Rob Trujillo and Armand Sabal-Leco anyway? The album contains a large mix of different styles and really helps Benji's crazy side shine through with energetic and eclectic performances all round, and guest vocal performances from the likes of Danny Carbonel ("Bounce") and Whit Crane ("Kill Ya") complement it well.

One of the highlights of the album is track 2, "Go Mexican Go", also the most widely circulated Mass Mental? track. The funky rhythm of the twin bass assault combines with Wackerman's excellent drumming and Benji's ragga vibe in what is actually probably one of the tamer tracks, especially compared to follow up "Frog Stomp", which I feel has some traces of Beastie Boys in it, and "Speedmental" (which comes after a quick instrumental break in "Circus") which is by far the most insane song on the album - I have no idea who is responsible for the rapping though sadly. The pace of the album is never going to let you take a breath for too long or leave you knowing what's going to come next and this further's its appeal, though the second half of the album doesn't quite match up to the eccentricity of the first half, highlights including Mazzmental and Kill Ya are still present to see out this short lived project. Lifeline, with the emphasis on Benji's vocal and the additional percussion of Stephen Perkins and Joey Klparda is probably more reminiscent of what Benji would later build on with ragga-metallers Skindred.

It's a shame this was only released officially in Japan, making it extremely difficult to obtain, but with the launch of Mass Mental's Facebook page, supposed plans to release the "Santa Barbara Mixes" and an aborted show in Germany earlier in 2012, it's worth keeping an eye out for.



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user ratings (1)
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
DatsNotDaMetulz
December 2nd 2012


1820 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

This got a bit rushed in the end as I have to go soon. Well, now.

ZGP1992
December 2nd 2012


302 Comments


Awesome review, great job.

pos'd

DatsNotDaMetulz
December 2nd 2012


1820 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I do hope they come back soon. Or at least release the full Santa Barbara Mixes. Only one song has been released so far (which wasn't on this album) and it was pretty god damn funky. https://ogp.bandpage.com/125916732916244480

DatsNotDaMetulz
December 2nd 2012


1820 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

OH SHIT SON I JUST CHECKED THEIR FACEBOOK AGAIN AND THEY POSTED THIS:

"No! Mass Mental's Not Dead! But due to the extraordinary amounts of other projects the band members
have postponed the ongoing mastering process of the Santa Barbara mixes... stay tuned! Also the live
footage of Mass Mental in Tokyo and the hand made silk screen Ts will be post xmas presents! Keep
your four strings moving!"

So some big stuff on the way. Desperately hoping they can get some space in their schedules for some
gigs - Roy Mayorga's been their drummer since 2002 according to pictures they've posted so he's busy
with Stone Sour sadly, Benji's still promoting Skindred's latest album, Rob's working on new
Metallica shit (though Mass Mental will be his best release in years) and no idea what's up with
Armand.

DatsNotDaMetulz
December 2nd 2012


1820 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Yeah I know the artwork's pretty god damn terrible. There's various colour variations too.



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