Saturday, August 27, 2011

Massive Attack

Just doing a short post to get around my problem of not being able to fall asleep early enough. Probably I'm not making much sense, but I tried.

Massive Attack. Now, how could I be drawn to these duo (then trio) that pioneered the Trip-hop genre, way back in their town in Bristol, when I was into fast-sounding rock and metal music?

The truth was, way back in 2005, I found a review in magazine about the band, and I thought, 'wow, that's a pretty cool name for a band. And dark trip-hop sound? I wonder if it is as good as it sounds...'

Their first two releases, Blue Lines and Protection, didn't really stuck to my fancy when I first listened to them. But after I gave them subsequent listening, I thought that the music was dope and relaxing. The way how the female vocals go over the beats of the drums and bass, the occasional tracks with the reggae-tinged vocal off Horace Andy, and the whispering voice of 3-D and rough deep voice of Daddy G... it's really great. The tracks are really good for just chilling and whatnot, although personally I prefer Blue Lines over Protection; in my opinion the tracks there are more solid. Protection was just so-so for me.

Both makes good listening for sometimes 3 o'clock in the morning tho, I'll have to admit. Very relaxing.

I love this song

I think movie buff might appreciate this video

Now their 3rd album, Mezzanine, is what I considered to be their masterpiece. Starting with the rocking Angel, the albums doesn't fail to disappoint me throughout the tracks. That feel when I listen to them early in the morning, with me lying down in my bed, with the mood of the tracks which changes throughout the whole album... At one moment you're following the repetitive bassline on Risingson, next moment it's the haunting Teardrop, before it shifted into the Middle-East influenced Inertia Creeps.

And it's not only about the sound too. I remember going through the lyrics of Teardrop, and how it might be all about abortion. I'm sure there are many possible interpretation to that song, but I entertained the idea (and still am - I mean, why do you think the video is as such?)

Or... how about the lyrics off Inertia Creeps? Go on, read it and tell me what you think. Bet you're thinking of that one word, right?

She comes
I make no sound in my eider-down
Awake I lie in the morning's blue
Room is still my antenna in you
Nylon burns the bedspread with two
Gravity's zero see me stall
I bounce off walls lose my footing and fall
It can be sweet though incomplete though
And the frames will freeze
See me on all four's
It's been a long time

Both videos also rather bothered the hell out of me when I first watched them. And that is what makes them pretty awesome in my book. Have you ever seen other songs which addresses the issues in such a way? (with both themes being present in the same album, nonetheless). Guess sometimes you need something to really grab people attentions to get you into it, mm?

To be honest, they failed to really knock me out after Mezzanine. 100th Window somehow lacked that organic sound present in their earlier works, and it seems that they have left behind their blues and hip-hop sound to move for darker electonic-tinged music. Perhaps not surprising, since only one member - 3D - was present during the production.

I'll still give the album a credit for instilling a sense of paranoia and insecure. This is an album for you to be paranoid when walking through the developed cities.

God, this is a different level of scary from the ones off Mezzanine

Now, I know some might prefer Massive's more trip-hop/dub/reggae sound, but I think one of their best work would be False Flags. The click of lighter right in the beginning, the political lyrics, the video of a homeless(?) person burning down the EU (correct me if I'm wrong there), and that one bit off Radiohead's The Bends... it's not really the typical fare off Massive, but I love it.

And with their return to a more soulful and organic sound, Heligoland is certainly something to look forward after a seven year hiatus since 100th Window. Or so I thought - for I find the album to be somewhat inferior to Blue Lines and Protection. Maybe it has something to do with how I had hoped they'd return to something which can top off Mezzanine, or maybe because I have been going for more heavier songs then, but the songs doesn't leave too much of an impression to me. Not enough to make me want go for repeated listening, anyway.

I guess I'll just have to go through the songs more, since the songs aren't all that bad. Preferably during the early mornings (such as now), mmhm.


  1. I really like Karmacoma, thanks for this post! I was looking for new music :)

  2. This is a five-star post, Faults. Well-written. LET ME BROFIST YOU.

    I can't choose between Blue Lines and Mezzanine. I adore the latter because it's so meticulously made. There's so much layers going on in each track to focus on. It's always a new experience to listen. And Blue Lines just has that stripped-back, UK hip-hop vibe to it. God-tier.

  3. @Butters: Ahah, glad you found them to your fancy. Enjoy, and chill!

    @Chiyo's Dad: Nah, it's something rather spontaneous lol. Could have been more detailed and stuff, but yea. BROFIST.

    You said it better than I could. I'd also like to add that listening to Heligoland somehow gives off a feeling off Radiohead's Kid A and Amnesiac - but that might be because I don't listen to as much sound as these. Still can't beat Blue Lines and Mezzanine, of course.

  4. I heard some stuff from these guys long ago and I've been meaning to check them out further ever since, but I haven't done so. Thanks for reminding me, I got all their studio albums now (and I have to buy them sometime too, or else I'll feel bad). Blue Lines is amazing.

    >Both makes good listening for sometimes 3 o'clock in the morning

    They are indeed two of those night/early morning albums.

    >Kid A

    Haven't heard Heligoland yet and now I can't wait to listen to it.

  5. @Link: I actually have two of their studio album, with two compilation albums (bought back when I could afford CDs on a regular basis). Man, I feel like getting a few music CDs too.

    Ahaha, well that is a very rough comparison. Kid A is still superior in my book, but Heligoland does got the whole electronic sound going. Guess you'll just have to give it a listen for yourself to decide.

  6. I haven't heard much from these guys apart from Mezzanine (I heard Teardrop for the first time from watching House) but I like their sound.

    I'm really bad at getting the meaning behind lyrics unless I'm really paying attention, so I had no idea about the meaning behind any of their songs.

  7. @serenity: Actually I'm not that much into lyrics, but I like (or at least used to) read around what other people interpret of a song. 'course, they can get too complex for their own good (the song interpreters, I mean), and then I stop giving too much concern about lyrics.

    Still, can't deny they have pretty sweet sound, yeap.

  8. I only listen to Massive Attack at night :3

    (Psst, Faults. It's the new Chiyo's Dad here)