[22 November 2010]
Austin’s Masonic are comprised of three guys with the last name Mason—see what they did there?—plus some other guy plus lead vocalist Eryn Gettys. It is Gettys who elevates an otherwise ordinary band into something interesting. Floating above the standard trappings of drums, bass, a lot of fuzzy guitars and keyboard textures, Gettys’ delicate voice bounces between vulnerability and determination. Booming pipes they’re not, and sometimes they waver off pitch a little, but she wrings what she can from them.
The music is bouncy enough, jittery at times but rarely staid. “Lifetime of Deception” kicks things off energetically, and the next few songs don’t stray from the bouncy-pop template. “Seems Like A Million Years” introduces a slower tempo and dose of yearning into the mix, while “So Much More” plays Gettys’ ethereal singing against a spiky guitar line. Still, it’s not long before the songs rev up again.
At fifteen songs, the record is probably longer than it needs to be, but it feels crummy to carp about a band giving too much. The Leonard Cohen cover “Hey That’s No Way to Say Goodbye” is a nice touch, too. This probably won’t become anybody’s favorite record anytime soon, but for something to listen to while driving around on a sunny afternoon, you could do a lot worse.