Delivering tough but hook-laden pop/rock with lyrics that merge the witty and the cynical, the Pittsburgh-based band the Breakup Society pick up where leader Ed Masley’s former band, the Frampton Brothers left off…literally.
The Breakup Society’s story began when vocalist, rhythm guitarist, and songwriter Masley, lead guitarist Sean Lally, and bassist Ray Vasko headed to Mesa, AZ, to record a Frampton Brothers album with producer and percussionist Bob Hoag, who had formerly played drums with the group during his days in Pittsburgh. Tensions rose between the members of the band during recording, and shortly after completing the basic tracks, the band returned home before final overdubs could be added, leaving the album in limbo. (Read more)
Official music video for “Your Invitation to Quit” from So Much Unhappiness, So Little Time (2012)
“The Breakup Society’s sophomore release doesn’t merely emulate classic power pop—it writes the next chapter for the canon” (Harp).
The Breakup Society’s new record So Much Unhappiness, So Little Time… (Get Hip Recordings) features “The Way We Weren’t,” Ed Masley’s first co-write with John Wesley Harding, who also featured it on his new album, backed by Peter Buck, a handful of Decemberists and Scott McCaughey.
On So Much Unhappiness, So Little Time, the band further expands the scope of their sound without turning their back on the pop sensibilities that set the standard on their Get Hip debut, James at 35, or the bittersweet lyrical qualities singer Ed Masley refined on the followup, Nobody Likes Winner.
There are still plenty of rockers, from the reckless power-chord attack of “Here Comes Floyd” to the epic psychedelic splendor of “She Doesn’t Cross Against the Light.” But those rockers are offset this time by a soulful waltz called “Mary Shelley,” majestic guitar pop on “Your Invitation to Quit,” a hint of country on “The Upward Spiral” and the first songs Masley’s ever written on piano (“Supportin’ the War” and “Another Day in the Life”). “The Way We Weren’t,” co-written with John Wesley Harding, is a melancholy ballad fueled by aching vocals, chiming lead guitar and Mellotron.
With Bob Hoag once again producing, the prevailing mood is bittersweet with hints of darkly comic humor and unmistakable empathy, from “Another Day in the Life,” where an aging groupie adjusts to the life at the back of the line, to “The Next Reunion,” where a struggling actor worries that the kids he went to high school with are all lying in wait to watch him fail.
ADDITIONAL REVIEWS OF NOBODY LIKES A WINNER:
All Music Guide – FOUR AND A HALF STARS. “Masley aims higher with Nobody Likes a Winner than before, but he does so without a drop of pretension… a new high-water mark for one of the unsung heroes of contemporary rock songwriting.”
Alternative Press – FOUR STARS. Masley toys with countrypolitan on the reverb-soaked “This Little Tragedy” and Beatles-tinged baroque pop on “How Failure Save Me From Myself.” The latter is a centerpiece both sonically and emotionally, weaving the theme of self-delusion and self-sabotage into 14 tracks still chiefly concerned with relational dysfunction.
Trouser Press – A glorious hail of conviction, wit and energy, the album acknowledges futility on all fronts…. Not to jinx it or anything, but Nobody Likes a Winner is one.