Best Trifecta of Songs on Any Album in 2008 by Hear Ya For the past week and a half, my days have started off the same way. Wake up early, eat a high fiber breakfast, go to the office, pour a big cup of coffee, and then hit play on Mason Proper’s...
Post-Rockist on Mason Proper Live at Rock City by The Post-Rockist Blown away. Mason Proper blew me away. It’s tough, you know, listening to over 20 hours of music and trying to distinguish between one band and another. Rock City offered an incredibly diverse...
Best Trifecta of Songs on Any Album in 2008 by Hear Ya For the past week and a half, my days have started off the same way. Wake up early, eat a high fiber breakfast, go to the office, pour a big cup of coffee, and then hit play on Mason Proper’s sophomore album Olly Oxen Free. I won’t tell you what happens around 10am.
I admit that I completely overlooked their 2007 debut album, There Is a Moth In Your Chest. As I listen to Olly Oxen Free, it’s as if this band from Michigan is working hard to make me regret it. And I am. The album opens with the best trifecta of songs I’ve heard on any album in 2008. “Fog” is a song that lingers in the shadows as it opens with the lines “My horoscope said pack your bags” then you hear what sounds like a gunshot, followed by the lines “Made a hole in my head and forgot why I did.”
Not exactly what I was expecting from a pop album.
After that, “Point A To Point B” lightens the mood with some jangly guitars before “Lock and Key” closes out the hat trick and will have you singing “caught every lightning bug out in the yard” in your sleep. You’ll understand when you hear the verse. I’m just thankful the band and the label decided to allow us to offer up “Lock and Key” as a free download so we can all be infected together.
To be honest, I’ve kind of been stuck at the front end of the album and am still digging through the second half, but I know “Downpour” will be another highlight. Olly Oxen Free will be released on Dovecote Records on September 23rd.
Post-Rockist on Mason Proper Live at Rock City by The Post-Rockist Blown away. Mason Proper blew me away. It’s tough, you know, listening to over 20 hours of music and trying to distinguish between one band and another. Rock City offered an incredibly diverse line-up, but you can only hear so much in one period of time before it all starts to sound the same. And this is why Mason Proper really impressed me, because I couldn’t help but pay the closest attention I’ve given to any band of the festival.
Mason Proper is made up of a jittery but visionary frontman who demands your attention at all times, backed by talented musicians who produce a beautiful and coherent soundscape, allowing the singer to offer his intricate and eclectic messages to the audience in a deep and personal way. There’s only one other band I know of that I could describe this way: Radiohead.
Shiv, Music Director of Woxy.com, says by Woxy.com With "Olly Oxen Free", Mason Proper have undeniably delivered the exact
opposite of a sophomore slump. With this cd, they run light years ahead of
Moth" with incredibly nuanced songwriting and elaborate, yet insanely
catchy, instrumentation. I love this record.
My Old Kentucky Blog on "Olly Oxen Free" by My Old Kentucky Blog When was the last time you heard a good pop song about being haunted by Bloody Mary? I know I asked myself that question a lot until I came across In the Mirror from Mason Proper's sophomore album Olly Oxen Free, out Sept. 23 on Dovecote Records. After repeated listens, I found myself drawn in by the album's dark and deranged lyrics, which stand in stark contrast to the eerily pleasing pop backdrop. So I decided to break away from the lite and focus on the heavy for once. Dodge has also taken a liking to Mason Proper in recent months.
Olly Oxen Free is the sophomore LP from the five-piece out of Michigan that is co-produced by the band and Chris Coady (TV on the Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Blonde Redhead). The title insinuates that it's safe to come out from your hiding place, but the album's content suggests otherwise. Lead vocalist Jonathan Visger uses his crisp, clear wail of a voice to lead listeners through a minefield of weirdness. Point A to Point B is a song about de-evolving into a rock or a creature that can't think by intentionally losing karma points. Seriously. Yet it's hard to fight the urge to not sing along with the bleak chorus.
Ominous song titles like Out Dragging the River, Alone and Safe For The Time Being prove there aren't many silver linings to be found on Olly Oxen Free. But Visger so deftly weaves his bizarre tales with such exuberance over brightly spooky, sometimes minimal, instrumentation that you can't help but let the music crawl under your skin. In fact, Safe For The Time Being sounds like it's being accompanied by a chorus of ghosts, making it all the more unearthly and unsettling. Maybe that's why it sticks with you.
If, like me, you accidentally overlooked Mason Proper's 2007 debut release There is a Moth In Your Chest, you might want to give the band a fresh look with Olly Oxen Free. Stay tuned for more from the band on MOKB in coming months.