Local punk stalwart Dave Collis wears many hats. He books DIY and aboveground shows all over town and is simultaneously playing in more bands than I can keep track of—the first that caught my ear was an eccentric outfit called My Dad, which went on indefinite hiatus last year. Collis had been working on new material for My Dad before the band played its final show, and about a year ago he started reworking one of the tracks with drummer Josh Sparks, who plays in Into It. Over It. and recently launched a band called Recreational Drugs. The pair eventually teamed up with guitarist Josh Parks (who also plays alongside Sparks in the live version of Into It. Over It.) and bassist-vocalist Mercedes Webb (formerly of Morning Arms) and launched Slow Mass. Today the Reader premieres the group’s first single and video, “Nice But Not Kind.”
On this gritty posthardcore track the band wavers between hushed melodies and volcanic bursts; Slow Mass lurches toward anthemic explosions with aplomb, and even though the group exhibits control and skill each surge feels like the song could fall apart in an instant. When Collis and Webb harmonize in the middle of “Nice But Not Kind” they infuse some tenderness into the song’s tense build-and-release trajectory.
Slow Mass makes its live debut Wednesday, September 9, at Subterranean’s downstairs space. Melkbelly headlines, and Loose Tooth and Clique are also slated to perform. The show kicks off at 7 PM and Slow Mass takes the stage first, so get there early. Until then take a look at Rob Blackburn’s one-shot video for “Nice But Not Kind” below.