Like their name implies, MASS FM have a maximalist bent to their sound: big guitar tones, synths, hooks, bass and drums.
The Missoula post-punk band dialed that sound in since they started about four years back. Guitarist/lead songwriter Doug Smith was with the late "heavy new wave" act Volumen with synth player Chris Bacon. Bassist Chris Baumann is also a vet by this point, through the Dead Hipster DJ party, a run of different bands and projects and his Black National recording studio. Ryan "Dreamer" Weindgardt rounds out the group on drums, the key part for any post-punk band.
On their new EP, "What Will Divide Us is Love," a follow-up to their 2017 full-length, "Punknique," they serve up four songs in a (relatively) mellow mood. "What Will Divide Us is Love" finds Smith delivering his cautionary verses ("all of us are contagious/it's going around") in a more subdued fashion compared to his usual punk-style high register.
After a ramped-up intro, "Steely Dawn" switches into a chiller groove — it's not quite Steely Dan but it is danceable — as Smith sings about going it alone, and "how it's hard to make believe/or make a believer out of me."
It segues right into "Wax Wing Kids," with a splashy, noisy-but-melodic crescendo. They dig into dual guitar-synth lines, and lyrical but cryptic dissections of behavior. The EP is swift on the run-time, but it shows a reliably creative Missoula band that hasn't stopped evolving.