“I’ve Tortured You Long Enough” by Mass Gothic – Review
Review by John Wright
It’s always seemed, to me at least, that creating art in collaboration with someone you love must be a deeply exhausting experience. Working relationships, even for artists, need to be functional before anything else, and often collaborators need to step on each other’s toes for the sake of the art, or at least just for the sake of getting the work done. The Beatles’ music is beloved but John and Paul hated each other, Fleetwood Mac reached legendary status as a band on Rumors while their relationships as human beings were imploding, and Noel and Liam Gallagher are still plotting each other’s deaths in the British music press 10 years after the last Oasis album came out. (Kidding! Mostly…)
Noel Heroux (Hooray for Earth) and his wife Jessica Zambri’s collaboration under the Mass Gothic name will most likely scratch your gothy-power-balladry itch with its impressively cohesive mix of drums, synths, guitars and the all-important vocals, but ironically I’ve Tortured You Long Enough, is lacking the kind of creative tension you’d expect from an album composed by a husband and wife duo. That title is firmly tongue-in-cheek. The general picture painted of their relationship via their collaborative lyricism suggests less of mutual torture and more mutual solace in one another through the emotional ups and downs of life. That’s sweet and charming but it doesn’t exactly suggest “power ballad.”
The “power” part of that equation, for me at least, has always come from raw, wounded, emotionality; “to die by your side is such a heavenly way to die,” etc. This is where I’ve Tortured You Long Enough runs into its biggest, most insurmountable problem. With the notable exception of the Zambri-led stripped-down guitar number “How I Love You,” I’ve Tortured You Long Enough never finds a point where it’s impressive instrumentation and lyrical style can work together.
Maybe that says more about us than them; there’s a reason the “happy couple” part of the romantic comedy is handled in a 2-minute montage while the break-up takes up the whole third act.
This album is best enjoyed while you’re trying to coax a stray cat into following you home with the munchies you just bought.
Edited by Derek Adams