Full Album Stream: Mast Year – ‘Knife’

One person’s noise is another’s symphony. We’re partial to noise, noise rock, improvised noise, noise for noise’s sake. etc. Thus new Baltimore outfit Mast Year scratches a bunch of those itches for us. The quartet (vets of numerous Charm City bands)—Darin Tambascio (bass), Noel Mueller (guitarist), Ben Price (drums), Eric Rhodes (vocals)—bonded over a love of “harmonic dissonance” during the pandemic and have crafted an angular, ear-scraping album, Knife, that invokes ’90s-era Amphetamine Reptile skree. This is a record that Steve Albini or Wharton Tiers would have recorded back in the day. It offers Unsane brutality with a smidge of post-hardcore melody and a dash of Sonic Youth experimentalism. 

The band recorded its concise twenty-five-minute debut in Mueller’s Tiny Castle studio (Yatra, Myopic, At The Graves). The album was later mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege (Obituary, Sunn O))), -16-). It’s set for release digitally and in a limited CD run on April 7 via Grimoire Records. You can place you preorders here. The band will also be performing at a record release show at the Ottobar in Baltimore, this Saturday, April 8 (see below).

Here’s what bassist Darin Tambascio had to say about the band’s debut:

“In Spring of 2020, Noel texted me about trading riffs back and forth, while stuck at home during the early days of the pandemic. Harmonic dissonance and shifting meters are songwriting tools for both of us, so we instantly had common ground. When we had enough song ideas recorded, I reached out to Ben Price. Ben is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, so Noel and I were extra pumped to have a drummer who could do much more. While practicing with Noel and Ben, I also started jamming with Eric Rhodes. After maybe two practices, it was immediately apparent that not only was Eric the guy to sing in Mast Year, but his mere presence added a bit of levity and comedy to our group. With four multi-instrumentalists and songwriters in this band, there is a huge potential for Mast Year to expand our sound and material. Knife is just the beginning.”

Mast Year live dates:

4/08/2023 The Ottobar – Baltimore, MD w/ Consumer Culture, Psyop, Knub

5/04/2023 Metro Gallery – Baltimore, MD w/Blind Girls, Heavenly Blue, Distend, No Thanks To You