Mastersystem – Dance Music

Members of Frightened Rabbit, Editors and Minor Victories come together as Mastersystem, with the results reminiscent of your favourite early 90s alt-rock bands

Album Review by Adam Turner-Heffer | 02 Apr 2018
Album title: Dance Music
Artist: Mastersystem
Label: Physical Education Recordings
Release date: 6 Apr

This month, Frightened Rabbit's monumental sophomore record The Midnight Organ Fight celebrates its tenth birthday, something the band recently celebrated with several huge full-album shows across the UK. A decade on, that record is still something of a masterpiece, which along with the previous year's Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters by The Twilight Sad, marked a particularly exciting time for Scottish indie music.

In the time since, Frightened Rabbit enjoyed brief mainstream success with their third album The Winter of Mixed Drinks and have seen cross-over success signing to a major label and bandleader Scott Hutchison moving to Los Angeles. Mastersystem then, it seems is an opportunity for Hutchison to return to his roots, recruiting along the way his brother Grant (drummer of Frightened Rabbit) and another set of brothers: Justin (lead guitarist of Editors) and James Lockey, both of whom also play in Minor Victories.

Much as Hutchison as a songwriter, and Frightened Rabbit at their collective peak, are excellent, one of the last adjectives one would use to describe them is "fun". So what a pleasure it is to hear this new project which, while lyrically still filled with the (increasingly ageing) concerns and anxieties Hutchison is known for writing about, is musically reminiscent of all your favourite early 90s alt-rock and indie bands.

Ok, so nothing here is exactly reinventing the wheel, but this record is so much fun that it hardly matters. Album opener Proper Home fires things off to a quick start, and that pace never really lets up over the ironically-titled Dance Music's nine tracks.

 Listen to: Proper Home, Notes On a Life Not Quite Lived, Old Team