PHNW Fest Preview: Mass Marriage

I love how calm Mel Paget, the young Canadian who performs and records as Mass Marriage, looks in this video – shot during her performance at last month’s Vancouver Noise Festival. Or maybe it’s shyness stemming from the fact that she is performing in broad daylight, with her audience within slapping distance. That would make any musician a little gun shy. But she doesn’t look fazed. She just keeps punching the buttons and twists dials on her noisemakers and letting the racket explode before her.

Watching Paget sing as she storms into the song “Nothing Underneath”, I couldn’t help but wonder why there weren’t more noise/experimental artists that came out of the riot grrrl movement. There were smatterings of that ideal in certain songs by Bikini Kill or Sue P. Fox’s agit-poetry, but they were tied to melody and punk drive. Not so with Mass Marriage. The political aims are couched in scintillating industrial grinds and wobbling low end. Both ways to express these messages are equally powerful, but I leave it to you to find out which one moves you more.

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