Mass of the Fermenting Dregs
Awakening:Sleeping


3.0
good


Release Date: 2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: (500) Dregs of Summer

Once upon a time, Mass of the Fermenting Dregs were everything palatable and exhilarating about Japanese rock. Their mix of ear-rending post-hardcore, ear-worming indie and eerily well-integrated shoegaze was attractive in itself, but their chief appeal has always lain in sheer blood-rushing euphoric energy. You’ll be hard pressed to find a larger-than-life flurry of breathless cheer than vocalist/bassist Natsuko Miyamoto, whose melodious holler and almighty diaphragm are the most reliable locus of heart and soul any band could ask for. The results are there to see: MOTFD’s first EPs Mass of the Fermenting Dregs and World Is Yours are still J-rock benchmarks and their tenacity as an international live act is stalwart. However, their career plateaued forever ago. Miyamoto’s songwriting inspirations slipped on their stolid debut LP Zero Comma, Irotoridori no Sekai (2010), which was followed by a lengthy timeout and a solid-but-safe comeback No New World (2018). The band’s appeal has been consistent, but each successive release has confirmed that their defining statements as a studio act lie firmly behind them.

In this light, Awakening:Sleeping feels more like a courteous foot in the door than an unlikely renaissance. It casts its net across a whole spectrum of promising directions, each haul little more or less than passable. “No need”, say, showcases a competent band in full catchy-rock gear, but its repetitious hooks scan as oddly perfunctory, a fatal hair short of the vitality they reach for, while the nostalgic “Birds and Rhythm” never quite owns the well-worn melodies it recalls from the sunniest side of ‘00s J-rock. That’s not even to start on the zaniest elephant in the zany, zany room: “1960” is an extended instrumental that restores some measure of the epic scope the band have hardly touched since 2008’s towering “Endroll”, but loses itself as a circuitous jam and never complements its meander with a firm payoff. As for more immediate cuts, both “Helluva” and “MELT” are welcome shots in the arm, but each is too fleeting to hold the floor on its own terms and too abrupt to translate in sequencing; quite unlike No New World or any past MOTFD record, it’s generally ambiguous how any of these songs are supposed to sit together.

Awakening:Sleeping pans out as such as a somewhat mismatched patchwork of individually adequate odds and ends; it gets by on the floor of the band’s ever-respectable quality standards, but barely so much as raises its gaze to the ceiling. The one hint of an alternative trajectory is the opener “Dramatic”, a swoon of a song that nods to shoegaze and kicks the album off on an uncharacteristically dreamlike note that the band never substantiate elsewhere. It’s a shame. Out of all these songs, it feels the most in-step with their present wavelength, perhaps because its thoroughly lovely current of jangly instrumentation is the freshest vein of inspiration, but mainly through the sheer strength of Miyamoto’s performance. Her snapshot of finding and losing oneself on the path of memory resonates with a depth that nothing else here quite reaches; she sings with palpable conviction of a series of ifs and whens, theres and heres, and memories and fates, all of which smacks of good ol’ heart-twinging record-selling moment-making mono no aware. In this case, it’s a sense less of the preciousness of the present, and more of the bittersweetness of having somehow arrived there at all. Anyone with a more pertinent representation of Mass of the Fermenting Dregs in 2022, by all means write in.




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user ratings (30)
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
kevbogz
September 13th 2022


6079 Comments


HUHUHUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

kevbogz
September 13th 2022


6079 Comments


glad this band is still around and glad the guitarist or bassist/w.e is fine

first track is a vibe but i'm really hoping it picks up but based of ur review it doesn't seem too huh

kevbogz
September 13th 2022


6079 Comments


opener and melt were great, energy just feels artificial so far idk. miss that bouncy/jumpy j-core

uhhhhh i guess i shoulda checked my sources cuz that was ages ago my b. thought that was recent for some reason

kevbogz
September 13th 2022


6079 Comments


actually melt wasn't great but good, i appreciate them goin full boris tho. "not awful"

kevbogz
September 13th 2022


6079 Comments


nice basically articulated what i'm feeling with this.

correct me if i'm wrong but i've seen them on some p popular fest bills.... wonder if they're tryna appeal to a more hip/western audience (loving 1960 holy shit)

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
September 13th 2022


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

I quite liked this as a whole, but the opener is almost painfully better than everything else (one of the best songs I've heard this year).

kevbogz
September 13th 2022


6079 Comments


boys fr 1960..... straight blew me away, but i'm a sucker for that kraut/gaze sound

ashcrash9
Contributing Reviewer
September 13th 2022


3339 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Been a while since I've spun No New World but I thought this was more gripping than that, even if it made some questionable ventures in spots and underwhelmed in others. This band hasn't quite had that it factor since coming off hiatus

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
September 13th 2022


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Will do, Johnny! Don't believe I've heard anything else from this group.

kevbogz
September 13th 2022


6079 Comments


k well i listened to 1960 back to back and just got socked in the face by helluva and ashes. huh

heyadam
September 13th 2022


4389 Comments


wanted this to be better : / the opener goes way too hard

Pikazilla
September 14th 2022


29053 Comments


i want new seiko

Pikazilla
September 14th 2022


29053 Comments


no singles

only the complete experience

Pikazilla
September 14th 2022


29053 Comments


i am ready

kintsugi < 3

Kompys2000
Staff Reviewer
September 14th 2022


9320 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

Think theres an "aged" in the first para that should be "ages"?



Not sure if I'll even end up rating this after one listen to around the 80ish percent mark, there were surely moments where my ear perked up at a nifty melodic idea or a cool riff but as your review implies it doesn't come together as a full listen very well and this band probably has more to offer elsewhere anyway

RadioSuicide
September 14th 2022


2544 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oh nice, i actually gave this a cursory spin yesterday. Dramatic and MELT are both fantastic

LunaticSoul
September 14th 2022


2385 Comments


I don´t mind it but it´s nothing I will want to listen too much to. It´s not bad, but not great. I don´t know the band but they seemed very nice folks from their ATG performance.

kevbogz
September 16th 2022


6079 Comments


no 1960 love SMH

OOOOOOOOO AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

kevbogz
September 16th 2022


6079 Comments


come thru oooooooahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Zac124
September 17th 2022


2369 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I quite enjoyed this and liked pretty much every song here especially Dramatic, 1960 and Melt. However, they do sound a lot like a more average Kinoko Teikoku, at least imo.



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