Taking a Listen: Local music reviews

by Heather MacIntyre

We Are Masked – Paradigm

Well, I have to admit for this nature of music, this CD pretty much on par. The recording is impeccably clear, and the songs inhabit an excess of riffs that might remind you of the Offspring, circa Americana. More of the songs seem to obsess over a few catchy interchanging riffs that might appeal to the alternative mainstream trend more recognized from the late ’90s/early 2000-ish. A portion of the guitar confusion, a mix of hardcore breakdowns, barely matches the vocal path. But what I noticed most about this album… is how hard it is to notice almost anything specific throughout it. Nothing really stands out. Track to track, you can tell that they invested a lot of time into the music, but the final product seems rather damp, as if the entire work is one song with mute pauses in between “parts” and spurts of clutter. Positive note: The drumming works well enough with the music pattern that they do keep it together. If you are okay with crossbreeding bands like the Offspring, Linkin Park and System of A Down, you might want to check it out. Greensboro’s We Are Masked will be performing at Somewhere Else Tavern on Saturday at SWET. (

Rating: 2.5 records (out of 5)

Mogwai – Young Team (2008 Edition)

Bizarre and brilliant. Please, if for some reason you never had the pleasure of experiencing Happy Songs For Happy People or Mr. Beast, at least pick up this reissue that has surfaced for their 10th-anniversary 1997 album, Young Team. The release contains a re-mastered version of all the original songs, in addition to expanded liner notes and eight bonus tracks. This is a record for those with open and wandering minds and experimental cravings for some good, instrumental Glasgow rock. Some of the tracks are rather queer, chopping up sound clips from phone conversations weaved into layers of distortion and flutes. Two of the longer epic ballads on the record, “Mogwai Fear Satan” (16 minutes), and “Like Herrod” (11 minutes) possess movie soundtrack potential, and couldn’t fit a long drive or awaken a writer’s block in a more innovative manner. If you enjoy explaining a life-changing song with a sentence that contains both the words “heavy” and “glockenspiel,” Mogwai is calling your name.

Rating: 4.0 records (out of 5)