Review Summary: I don't know what it means, but let's celebrate!
I’ll get the obvious out of the way: Mass of the Fermenting Dregs is a Japanese band and their lyrics are all in Japanese. As someone who doesn’t understand Japanese, I have little concept of what the album intends to say or represent. However, since I’m someone who doesn’t normally listen for lyrics, this isn’t a drawback for me. There is plenty to get excited about with this self-titled EP as far as the music goes.
The album opens up with a danceable drum beat and bass rhythm, brings in some sweet (if not melancholic) melodies, and goes full-throttle in the chorus with distorted guitars. It’s not a groundbreaking statement, but it sets the stage for what listeners can expect throughout the EP. It’s going to be fast, fun, and full of passion. The highlights of the first half of the album come with some delightfully textured guitar and bass tones, reminiscent of 90s shoegaze. When the effects get dialed up, Mass of the Fermenting Dregs love to break out from the regular structure of the song and play without inhibition.
Without understanding a word of this, the personality of the band still feels palpable. The music is a celebration, even in its weighty moments like the moody instrumental “Endroll.” At nearly 10 minutes, the track reigns in its brooding and temperamental introduction by building it to a melodic climax, carried by a wordless soaring vocal melody. It might just be a jam track, but the entire piece is crafted to perfection. On a personal level, it mixes so many elements of my favorite Thrice outros that I can’t help but smile.
For a band from an entirely different culture and part of the world, Mass of the Fermenting Dregs don’t really sound foreign to my ears. Outside of the language, there’s virtually nothing on this EP that would be out of place on an American or British alternative rock album. Throughout its length, they demonstrate a reverence for the musical styles they utilize. The thick, dense guitar tones and frantic, chaotic rhythms are what make this work memorable, and they appear to be the focus of the band. No matter what the lyrics are, the music translates as a celebration of passion.