Viking's Choice: Slow Mass, 'Bruce Lee'

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If the band's debut EP (Treasure Pains) is any indication, Chicago's Slow Mass exists somewhere between Hoover's post-hardcore heft and Braid's weird hooks. Featuring members of Into It. Over It's live band (drummer Josh Sparks and guitarist Josh Parks), plus guitarist/vocalist Dave Collis (My Dad) and bassist/vocalist Mercedes Webb, Slow Mass isn't so much the sum of its parts, but rather part high-speed collision, part mutation.

Frantic guitar riffs clash with Sparks' muscular drumming in "Bruce Lee," a physical and emotional gut-punch. "If you lay a hand on her," Collis yelps into a growl, "I will end you in the sewers." Via email, he tells NPR that "the song blends a couple different stories together to form an alternate narrative."

The first was inspired by a documentary about a homeless population in Romania living underground in the tunnels of the capital, Bucharest. They are led by a drug-pusher outcast who calls himself "Bruce Lee: King Of The Sewers." While Bruce is the one who has organized and taken care of these people, he is also the one selling them smack that is slowly killing off the community.

The second narrative was about a former partner of mine telling me stories of being stalked and harassed while commuting around Chicago, solely because of her gender. This song was a way to write about my anger and sadness toward harmful experiences that anyone has to go through in life because they do not have the privilege of being a cis-white jock male.

Treasure Pains comes out Sept. 9 (digital) and Sept. 26 (vinyl) via Landland.

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