Review: Energy- Under the Mask EP (Shadowland Productions)

Posted: August 6, 2017 in Reviews

There’s quite a wide variety of sounds on this six-song EP from Boston’s Energy. There’s some dark metallic music, some 90s skate punk, and even poppy pop punk. The EP starts with “The Witching Hour,” which begins very theatrically, with chimes, strings, and choir. It’s very atmospheric. But then we jump right into 90s style mid-tempo pop punk blended with post-hardcore, but with a dark feel to it. The title track is next, and it also has a dark feel, slower tempo, and more of a pop metal sound, dropping all pretenses of punk. The guitars chug along in minor chords, and during the verses there are guitar wails heard in the background, laden with reverb. It’s creepy sort of sound, but eerie in an effective way. “The Shape Retreats” is a short transition track that ends “Under The Mask,” and after the music stops we hear rain, distant thunder, and then a giant thunderclap. It’s oh so atmospheric. “A Prayer For Rain” is appropriately next, and it’s a return to the 90s pop punk sound, with less metal than before. The fifth song is the poppy one, and it’s also the weirdest and creepiest. It’s called “I Killed Your Boyfriend.” The lyrics detail how the protagonist of the song did the deed, and why. The killing was done very slowly and painfully because the girlfriend left for this other guy. It’s very misogynistic, treating women like property to be reclaimed from someone who “steals” it. I think they were trying for a Masked Intruder style song here, with a take of committing crimes for love, but why MI can come off as charming and quirky, Energy comes off as sick and twisted. The closer is “Leave Me Alone.” It starts out with a pretty acoustic guitar introducing the song before the full band comes in with a mid-tempo track that’s almost, but not quite, a ballad. Overall the band has the 90s sounds down pretty well, and the execution is professionally done. Even though the record isn’t my “thing,” I can appreciate the quality of the musicianship, and if you’re a fan of these sounds you may enjoy this EP. But I have a hard time recommending this because of “I Killed Your Boyfriend.” It really bothers me.

Listen here: https://energy.bandcamp.com/album/under-the-mask

PS

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