Mass Solo Revolt pull together quite a few influences in an attempt to harness their sound. At times, they can be endearing and raw, and other times they can be skittish and forgettable. As much as you might find to bounce around to in your car, you’re just as likely to find something that will leave you cold.
The band uses a liberal brand of post-punk as their baseline for tune making. Punk influenced guitars and vocals pervade throughout the album, but they’re all sanded down into a more pop format. Interpol is one of the current post-punk giants, but post-punk is so broad, so don’t expect too many “NYC”-type songs on here. Not quite power-pop, not “punk” enough for punk, not bubblegum pop, so post-punk feels most appropriate. At times, the riffs and melodies feel stale, uninviting, and meandering without any certain hook. “You Have Been Warned” is MSR at their best, with splashes of electronics enhancing the rock instrumentation, and a heartfelt melody that fades into a glowing outro. In fact, the whole back half of the album consistently outperforms the first half, possibly an error in sequencing.
The fact remains there are slews of Mass Solo Revolt-esque bands everywhere. Post-punk and related genres are the easiest bands to fire up and bang out an album. Without any type of distinction, MSR fails to stick as a viable band worthy of exemplary superlatives. Bend in Time doesn’t fall flat, as no song is bad or unlistenable, rather, it throws together old familiar patterns and fails to build on them efficiently, resulting in bland mediocrity.