I, like many others who were there to see the rise and demise of the original MASS OF THE FERMENTING DREGS, have had a hole in their heart where that group left their mark. The band seemed to fall apart just when they reached their apex, and it was a sad day in 2012 when they called it quits. But, nothing that volatile can be kept dormant forever, and MASS OF THE FERMENTING DREGS have finally, mercifully returned with a new album.
There are few women with a voice as sweet and emotive as Natsuko Miyamoto working in the rock world; elevating the impact of MASS OF THE FERMENTING DREGS’ music to ridiculous heights. Literally paralyzing, it will stop anyone from being able to do anything except listen. It’s great to say then, that she has lost none of that magic in the subsequent years since the original hiatus.
Knowing that the lineup has changed significantly from the original band members, one would fear that it would sound lesser or too different to be called MASS OF THE FERMENTING DREGS (as so many reworked bands often do). However, this is nothing to be afraid of. New members Isao Yoshino (drums) and Naoya Ogura (guitar) do a fantastic job at stepping in the shoes of previous members, sounding confident, and most importantly, natural.
What is instantly noticeable however, is that the band show some real restraint this time round. It’s not that they’ve lost any of that power that made them such a force, they’ve just harnessed it and use it to their benefit. Track structure is much more thought out, and instead of giving you a full blast of soaring guitars, it doles it out in snappy moments- ultimately making it that much more rewarding and exciting.
If there’s a small niggle- it’s likely it’s running time. It barely has time to settle before it’s over. However, it just makes you return to the start to listen all over again- and with absolutely zero tracks you’ll want to skip- from the blast that is opener “New Order”, to the gorgeous, smooth “Sugar”. There is no time for a dull moment, and MASS OF THE FERMENTING DREGS deliver one of the most exciting listens in years.
In the end, MASS OF THE FERMENTING DREGS’ ‘No New World’ is a truly triumphant return. Like the Phoenix, it awes with its majesty and blinds with its brevity. 9/10