CD Review: Initial Mass “Bending Light”

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.


For more information, check out Initial Mass’ PR Firm, Whiplash Marketing & Whizkid Management. Click on the logo below to visit their site. 






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“. 



Hot News From Bite The Buffalo with Blue Lips

Earlier this year we posted an article which was an Introduction to Bite The Buffalo where we also informed you of the bands second trip to the United States.

Bite The Buffalo returned from their more recent forty date U.S. tour a short while ago and since then they have been busy gigging around the UK, you just can’t keep a good band down! I returned home from my day job last Friday wondering how the weekend would shape up and to my utter delight I discovered that the bands new album Blue Lips had arrived through the post. To add to my Friday excitement I also found that Bite The Buffalo were set play a free gig very close to me at The Stallards public house in Trowbridge, Wiltshire. As I had just recently got myself another motor car what else could I do apart from getting myself over to the gig. Up until that night I had never managed to catch a full set by Bite The Buffalo. I took a friend along who was a BTB virgin and we had a superb evening as we got enthralled and electrified by the full 90ish minute BTB set. The wonderful Jake Meeking opened the evening, in order to do Jake fair justice I will cover him in a separate article.

Stos and Dimitri, who are Bite The Buffalo who had recently returned from the U.S. tour to a string of U.K. dates decided that they were going to have a BTB party weekend which meant that on the Saturday night they played at The Rifleman’s Inn, Glastonbury. This is another great venue not too far from my home so I just had to pop along for a second dose with my head still buzzing from the previous nights gig. Stos and Dimitri felt the need to kick back and sink into a couple of grass roots gigs at venues which had supported them in the past, and I kid you not, these were two gigs were both monumentous musical delights. I did mention in my ‘Introduction to Bite The Buffalo’ article that these guys had found their mojo and I can now honestly say that this mojo has had a steroid injection! Bite The Buffalo are way ahead of form right now, they blast away all expectations in sheer BTB excellence.

 Fridays set lasted for about an hour and a half as the guys pumped out all of their material to date. The atmosphere was intoxicated and electrified by their stunning sound and the BTB brothers closed the evening sweetly and cannily by playing encores in return for more pints of beer, this was a party weekend.

Saturday night was the second low key local party gig in Glastonbury and due to some excellent news whole Bite The Buffalo vibe had just got bigger and better.  It has been confirmed that Bite The Buffalo are due to play at Glastonbury Festival on Friday 28th June at 4pm on the BBC introducing stage. This is a fabulous follow on from the bands set and interview with BBC Introducing In The West where you can find out a little more about Bite The Buffalo and hear them play.

Another piece of news which must have boosted the BTB spirits that weekend is that Bite The Buffalo are to be interviewed one again by the BBC behind the main stage on the Saturday night of Glastonbury Festival, just before the Rolling Stones play. There is a whole lot of stuff going on in the Bite The Buffalo camp right now, and if you get the chance to see them and or hear their material, especially the new album Blue Lips then you will understand why. Blue Lips was released earlier this year, more material is forming and if this sounds anything like the six encores from the Saturday night gig then we are in for another real treat in the future.

Blue Lips is a musical marvel that is crammed to the hilt with bluesy rock’n’roll, not only does this album satisfy the taste buds but it enlightens and animates the soul. Blue Lips easily deserves a 10/10 rating. Just like the previous Bite The Buffalo releases this album shows and shares the bands musical prowess and blues/rock’n’roll roots more than ever before. It has been released through Daddy Longlegs.

This video from the Bite The Buffalo You Tube channel will give you a taste of Blue Lips and give you some tour snippets from March this year.

Blue Lips is available through iTunes/Amazon and also from the bands official website. You can also check them out on Spotify.

Rock News Uncategorized

April press release round-up

Back in January this year Maryland maestros Clutch played a one off, twice upgraded sell out gig in London in order to promote their stunning new album Earthrocker. Sadly I was not able to get to this gig, but I have heard Earthrocker which is the tenth stupendously good album from Clutch. The press release which I recieved states that 'The much-loved Maryland four-piece have been honing their live chops for more than two decades. There is no question that seeing Clutch perform is a revelatory experience not to be missed'. This is such a valid statement which I can personally vouch for as I have been blessed by seeing Clutch play live on a couple of occassions. They ARE simply magnificent…..
Clutch have just announced four more UK dates that will be shaking the following venues,
Mon 8th Jul –                NORWICH Waterfront
Tue 9th Jul –                 NOTTINGHAM Rock City
Wed 10th Jul –              MANCHESTER Academy 2
Thu 11th Jul –               LONDON Forum
Expect all shows to be packed full of heart, soul, and badass riffery! Tickets are priced £15 regionally / £16 London (subject to booking fee) and will go on sale on Friday 5th April at 10am. Tickets for Manchester & London are available from or


Interview with Curt Butala of Kingdom of Few

Hey rock and roll fans!  One of the great things about Canada is how we celebrate music.  This year from March 19 – 24 Canada celebrates Canadian Music Week.  Industry experts flood Toronto streets and nightclubs to showcase and discover great Canadian artists.  One of the bands that have been invited to perform this year are personal favourites of mine, Kingdom of Few.

Artists and Bands Features Uncategorized

Introducing Bite The Buffalo

Bite the Buffalo

Bite The Buffalo are a band based in Bath, England who have really made a substantial mark on the international music scene in a very short time.

They formed a relatively short while ago in 2010 when two brothers, Stos and Miti really did find their mojo. The pair moved to the UK a few years back to pursue their musical career, which has been a great success, initially with i Am BODHi but since 2010 when the brothers worked together to form Bite The Buffalo. The brothers called Stos and Miti have picked up a lot of pace, and yes this pair truly have found their mojo are not afraid to use it.


Damn Vandals Release “Done For Desire”

So who are the Damn Vandals?

They are a superb rock alternative band from the UK who have just released a scorching debut album called Done For Desire. With a short, sharp, snappy name like theirs they gain interest from the start and then you check their tunes and definitely become engaged to these Damn Vandals.

Reviews and Suggestions Uncategorized

CD Review: Doris Brendel & Lee Dunham “Not Utopia”

Back in 2010 Doris Brendel released The Last Adventure, this is still a stunning album in so many ways and I am thankful to say that it was far from the last musical adventure for Doris. Not Utopia was released on the first of July. Doris teamed up with producer/guitarist Lee Dunham and the result is this wondrous album which oozes such a wondrous variety of feelings and colour.


The Rock and Roll Report Gets Under The Groove at the Church of Yeah!

It has been way to long since I last posted anything onto, I have been on a working sabbatical while running which for a variety of reasons this website has now closed down leaving just the livelifewest facebook page!

While working with livelifewest I have become even more aware of the vast amount of top quality music within the sites regions, which are based in the South West of the UK. This article will highlight just one of the many world class bands which I have got to know recently, The Dynamite Pussy Club. Just the great name alone draws your attention and believe me, their music really is something else.


The Rock and Roll Report has b…

The Rock and Roll Report has been hacked! We are currently down but not out. As soon as we are back up you will be the first to know!


VIDEO: Rock and Roll Report Tv…

VIDEO: Rock and Roll Report Tv featuring Naomi Nektare