March 25, 2008
Dovecote Records
Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Experimental Rock, Indie Pop

Album Review

How does one supersede emo? For a band like Cursive, it was scabrous wit; for the Wrens, breathtaking songcraft; and for Mason Proper, an outright production coup, bursting out the speakers with a sound equal parts Steve Albini (Rapeman, Big Black) and Paul Epworth (Bloc Party, Futureheads). The thin, tinny guitar tones find balance in robust, fleet-footed drum work, accented by deft sonic accoutrements: chintzy synths and chimes flecking "100 Years," drum machines pattering through "I Spy," a woozy Wurlitzer spinning nauseously around "Lights Off." Above this cacophony floats Jonathan Visgr's paper-thin falsetto, which in its fey implacability lends the band a ready and unavoidable comparison to emo troupe Saves the Day. Visgr doesn't help matters by wavering lines like, "Driving through my hometown all alone," or belting about some macabre "black tie affair" over sweeping Queen pomp. Still, this is an aggressive record, if not in intent then in composition, so loaded with hooks and flourishes that it's almost impossible to listen without enjoying. The sequencing demands that the record remain epic, frontloaded with crisp, manic rockers and closing with a sequence of power ballads in miniature, and in a single sitting this pace can be exhausting. The fact remains, though, that each of these 13 songs achieves more than their major-label peers do on whole records. For all its faults, Mason Proper's debut record is a brisk resuscitation of a genre beginning to bloat obscenely.
Clayton Purdom, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. A Chance Encounter
  2. Miss Marylou Carreau
  3. My My (Bad Fruit)
  4. 100 Yrs
  5. Intimidation
  6. Chemical Dress Eliza
  7. Lights Off
  8. The World Is Smaller Than You Think
  9. Mr Charm
  10. I Spy
  11. Lifes Cornucopia
  12. Carousel! Carousel!
  13. Blue Lips Eternal Inquiry
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