Have you ever done something just for the hell of it, only to find out that it was well worth your time and not a silly, pointless escapade? Despite going in with little to no expectations, this hypothetical thing was a deeply enjoyable surprise that you couldn’t help but further pursue; it would be foolish not to. That thing I speak of is in reference to a group who go by Masheena, a collective of musicians highly involved in the sphere of extreme music, joining forces to make some killer music, hold the extreme. You’ve come to the right place at the right time as Everything Is Noise couldn’t be anymore ecstatic to give you early access to their debut record, West Coast Hard Rock!
Consisting of members from Abbath, Immortal, with Enslaved‘s very own drummer/producer also onboard, these lads decided to settle down and write an ‘ordinary’ sounding record that’s quite removed from their respective musical wheelhouses, little did they know that it would turn out anything but ordinary. What may have originated as a silly joke, with enough surprised ears enthusiastically supporting and motivating the collective for more, it blossomed from a handful of songs into a full-length. Iver Sandøy (producer, Enslaved) commented this on the first recording session with Masheena: ‘I think the guys walked out of the first session for what was intended as an EP in mild shock. Helping people exceed their own expectations is the ultimate producer’s goal, so in my book this is already a great success!‘
I’ll admit that West Coast Hard Rock is a very misleading title, as West Coast hard rock is far from the type of thing that I currently find myself enjoying at this moment in time. At first glance, it has that local rock radio that plays Metallica‘s “Nothing Else Matters” on repeat type of vibe. Despite that, I carried on and tuned in, and not even twenty seconds into “1979”, I found myself impressed and proven wrong. I love having my preconceived notions proven wrong as it leads to pleasant surprises more often than not and this is one such case. From the exact moment the thunderous bass guitar kicked in, I knew this was going to be tasty. Especially considering the fact that the bass was audibly crystal clear at any given moment on this track and album. Bass guitar in general doesn’t get much love and attention in the world of rock/metal music and that’s even coming from a guitar player. Yes, we exist (guitar players that actually acknowledge and appreciate bass). There are literally dozens of us.
As the album title suggests, this record is a tongue-in-cheek homage to traditional hard rock/heavy metal that in some way or another got us hooked into music in general. Not that I really listen to this kind of stuff nowadays, but Masheena gives that familiar style a modernized polish and equally gritty sound that’s nigh impossible to not appreciate if you liked this music at some point in time. The tracks found on West Coast Hard Rock contain subtle nods to legendary acts like Black Sabbath, Foo Fighters, and Led Zeppelin just to name a few. There are a wide variety of musical flavors that make this a surprisingly diverse record, especially being ‘just’ a hard rock record. Looks can be deceiving and that is most certainly the case here as this is outright fun from start to finish.
The band commented the following:
‘We wanted to create something real, hard rock tunes we could stand for and following our own rules. Turns out making something that feels right resonates with more people than just ourselves!‘
If West Coast Hard Rock dropped back in the ’90s/’00s, I guarantee you that Masheena would be a household name that any rock/metal fan would know and love. Let Masheena be a reminder that any silly or seemingly pointless idea can blossom into something that is so much more than it was conceived to be. Sometimes all you/it needs is a little love and encouragement. West Coast Hard Rock drops on August 25, but you can listen to it in full above right now. You might as well hit up Masheena‘s socials (Facebook | Instagram | Bandcamp) while you’re at it too!