Single: Backyard Superheroe – Mass Hysteria

Mass Hysteria is the first single off of the upcoming Backyard Superheroes album (release date pending). The band has gone through a significant shift in the lineup with several members leaving and even more being added in, the band is now a 9 piece and features an impressive four horn ensemble the really punch up the sound.

Despite the heavy rotation of members, “Mass Hysteria” still sounds quite a bit like the rest of the Backyard Superheroes catalog- however, in an interview with Dane Jackson of Beard Gentleman Music, lead singer Josh Hershkovitz said that this song was chosen as the first single for exactly that reason- suggesting that the rest of the album departs from the traditional third wave ska punk sound that this song encapsulates.

This song sounds great. Like I said, it really captures that third wave sound exemplified by bands like Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake. The horns are crisp and clear and powerful. The drums are clean, the bass is good. And it features Coolie Ranx- one of my favorite singers from the era. Unfortunately for me, the song doesn’t allow Coolie to get into his Raggacore sound, but it’s still nice to hear.

As for the song itself, it’s a pretty decent track. The lyrics are supposed to be a critical look at the world around us, as things are falling apart and devolving into mass hysteria. Criticism of politics and feelings of hopelessness, inability to make a difference are the themes of the song, but outside of the verse by Coolie Ranx, it all feels vague and disconnected. I am still excited to hear the rest of the album, and hope that a single disinterest in a few lyrics from a single song doesn’t dissuade anyone, because the music sounds great.

The song closes with a great rock and roll guitar riff, and I am curious where the rest of the album goes from here. I love the tease that this is the most similar to their old music as this album gets, because I love seeing bands evolve their sound. I wonder if that guitar lick was a tease for what lies ahead. With 4 guitars (including bass) a rock and roll guitar heavy album with powerful punchy horns could be really intriguing. It’ll only be a few months before we know for sure.

Written by Gimpleg