'Against The Wall'
To trace the Mason Hill story to its origin, Scott Taylor and James Bird met at school in Glasgow. At the age of 14, Bird was already an accomplished, award-winning, gifted guitar prodigy, who’d shared a stage with Ozzy Osbourne/Black Label Society man Zakk Wylde, a personal hero, toured across the UK, and secured endorsements from leading music brands. The teenage Taylor already harboured dreams of fronting a rock ’n’ roll band, and the pair’s friendship and shared aspirations led them to form a band. In 2013 the pair formed Mason Hill, adding drummer Craig McFetridge, bassist Matthew Ward and guitarist Marc Montgomery in due course. Five diverse, colourful characters, the members of the group were instantly bonded by a shared, singular vision for their band: Taylor relinquished long-held plans to become an Olympic swimmer in order to focus on music, while Ward withdrew from a degree course at the University of Glasgow, where he’d been studying microbiology/virology. For these ambitious young men, Mason Hill was and is priority number one.
Mason Hill are Scott Taylor (Lead Vocals), James Bird (Lead Guitar), Marc Montgomery (Guitar), Matthew Ward (Bass) and Craig McFetridge (Drums)
'Find My Way' brings back the attack with an aggressive guitar opening and an electric pace. A big chorus will have the crowd singing it back at live shows without a doubt and will be a crowd favourite I am sure, before 'Hold On' drops the pace back again to start with and leads us into a strong and determined vocal performance that dominates this track.
'Out Of Reach' has a melodic and wonderful vibe as the track starts. This is just a wonderful song with a truly anthemic sound both musically and vocally. Great build up through the verses before a huge chorus, fabulous. This is followed next by 'We Pray', which is a track that starts with heavier guitar before it flows into an upbeat and enjoyable number.
We kick off with 'Reborn', which eases us into this album with a Celtic almost game of thrones/Peter Jackson vibe.
A hyptnotic and haunting start indeed.
'No Regret' is a modern day rocker with strong guitar start and clear vocals with a nice flow throughout. No drama, just a good solid tune, before 'Against The Wall', which is a track that builds from a strong and steady foundation throughout to a crescendo of power in the chorus.
'Broken Son' has a nice mid tempo start which then has a nice change of pace within the verse before back to the mid tempo ground for the chorus. Another nicely constructed track, followed by 'DNA', which is in your face from the off and doesn't let up, and you are taken along with them.
Certainly an addictive track that will have your head moving and hands tapping whilst driving for sure.
'Who We Are' slows the pace for this emotive ballad that has a wonderful and anthemic feel.
'Where I Belong' is the penultimate track and is another slower ballad that has a fabulous vocal performance. Stripped back and raw with just the right amount of full on band participation joining in whilst still maintaing the feel, before we end this album with 'Reborn' (Reprise), which carries on where the first track ends, and brings to a close this excellent release.
Mason Hill have done themslves no harm with this latest release, It is a good and vibrant mix of tempos and styles and when all put together create a very good album.
Personally I really like the beginning and the end with 'Reborn' and 'Reborn' (Reprise), it's like a good set of bookends holding the rest in place. We don't have enough reprises these days.
Absolute stand out track for me is 'Out Of Reach', it pretty much has everything, and is a wonderful tune.
TFM gives 'Against The Wall' a well deserved 9/10, an excellent release from another one of the exciting young bands on the modern rock scene today.