Initial Mass formed when high school friends Mark Baldwin and Kevin Robertson joined up with another longtime friend, Scott Smith. And when the Los Angeles-based band Initial Mass came together, the familiarity found within the trio helped solidify the band’s music. That familiarity with each other can truly be an added bonus. What resulted was a trio that shared a familiarity with each other and a love for the same type of music.
With Mark Baldwin on Guitar, Vocals as well as songwriting, Scott Smith on bass and Kevin Robertson on drums, the three musicians create a trio that draws from Heavy Metal and Punk Rock. Together, the resulting music falls solidly into the Progressive Rock category. Add in a good amount of Pop feel to the length of each and every track created by the band has a very energetic feel to it but would be welcome on any Modern Rock and/or Classic Rock radio format. That rather commercial feel in the Progressive Rock music from Initial Mass can be found on the band’s newest album entitled Bending Light.
Bending Light from Initial Mass begins with the track “Killing Heroes”. The slow but steady beat from drummer Robertson gives a strong base for the bass from Smith and guitar from Baldwin as the trio creates a song that moves forward with plenty of energy, creating a track that features a musical influence from a band like Queens of the Stone Age. The slow and steady pace at the beginning gives the listener a lot of power and then the band picks up the pace. The quicker pace creates a tempo that draws the listener in closer to the music. The clear, strong vocals from Mark Baldwin would place him within any Classic Rock band. His vocals and the music from the entire band create a track that would be perfect for any Modern Rock format.
The new album from Initial Mass continues with the title track of the release. The track “Bending Light” features all three of the musicians as the track begins with the sound of the drums from Robertson and the bass from Smith. It is Smith’s bass that lays down the foundation of the music for this track as he plays the instrument in much the same way guitarist Mark Baldwin would if he was creating the basis for the track. The resulting music from Smith’s bass creates an almost Jazz-like approach to the track. Soon enough, guitarist Baldwin and drummer Robertson join in and the track takes on a much different feel to the music. The track combines a generous amount of Rock and Roll and some Jazz influence to create a sound that alternates between hard and easier passages. “Bending Light” is easily one of the standout tracks on the album.
With the track “Reason to Take,” the men of Initial Mass show off their musical abilities. This track contains a slightly stronger Progressive Rock feel to the music and the ever-changing rhythms give the song its Prog-Rock approach. The alternating between one rhythmic pattern and another also adds to the progressive feel to the music. The vocals from Mark Baldwin add a generous amount of Classic Rock flavor to the track. For those who are true fans of Prog-Rock, “Reason to Take” is one track from the band where you will find just what you’re looking for. However, the track also contains plenty for fans of straight-out Rock and Roll as well.
Initial Mass picks up the pace of their music quite a bit on the song “Resolution”. The quicker pace to the music adds more energy to the album and much like with the track “Reason to Take,” the music of the song “Resolution” changes tempos several times throughout the four-minute playtime. But the changes in tempo come gradually during the song and seem near effortless. This is a sure sign of the talent of the trio. About halfway through the track, the band slows the pace of the track down while also lightening the intensity of the music. In short, the track now takes on the feel of a power ballad but without the emotional connection. After a minute or so, the energy level increases and it is that level that brings the song to a close.
“Silence No More” by Initial Mass is the type of track that feels as if it should have been a lot longer. The slow-paced track begins with a thirty second instrumental introduction. After that, the track takes on a musical approach that feels like a combination of Modern Rock and Classic Rock as the vocals from lead singer Mark Baldwin take on a slight resemblance to the vocals of legendary rocker Jim Morrison. In fact, with those vocals, the track itself feels like a mix between The Doors and Queens of the Stone Age. “Silence No More” is one of the tracks on the Bending Light album from Initial Mass that will grab the attention of the listener.
The Bending Light album from Initial Mass comes to a close with the track “Embers Within”. The track begins rather unassumingly as singer Mark Baldwin’s his guitar initially contain a laidback feel and his vocals add to that low-key approach. That is short-lived, however, as the rest of the band join in ten seconds later. Keeping a slow pace, the stronger musical approach finds the band creating a track that marches along slowly but with plenty of energy to the music. The hard, solid quality to the music brings to mind the Heavy Metal of the eighties. The slow pace, yet energetic feel to the music of the track allows for “Embers Within” to feel like the perfect track to bring the Bending Light from Initial Mass to a close.
On their latest album of Bending Light, Initial Mass keeps things interesting with a release that features songs that contain a good variety of music. While drawing mostly from Progressive Rock, the Bending Light release from the band is easily accessible as the band keeps the more progressive elements to a minimum. Because of that, the album appeals to both fans of Prog-Rock as well as those who want music that is a little more listener-friendly.
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The album Bending Light from Initial Mass will be released in a matter of days. The album is due out on July 26th, 2019. And while the album is not yet available, you can check out the first single from the release, “Reason to Take“.