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Masonic
Live Like A Millionaire
(self-released)
www.masonictheband.com


Austin darlings Masonic have made a solid indie pop album in Live Like A Millionaire. However, the act has received unprecedented acclaim from local reviewers including phrases as extreme as "pop masterpiece." With no exposure to their live performance or previous LPs, based on Live Like A Millionaire, I don't think they're deserving of such extravagant praise.

Don't get me wrong, the album is good. With catchy guitar riffs, cheerful keyboard melodies, and poppy 1950s' style vocals, Masonic is very charming. I found the vocals to be the weakest aspect of the album, even distracting at points, but it is unclear whether that's a result of stylistic choices or the production quality. There's an echo effect on almost all the vocals that was probably intended to create an ethereal atmosphere (very noticeable on "Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye"), but personally it seems like more of an attempt to mask a weak voice. Instrumentals, like "Hanging From Fences", held up far stronger. The musical arrangements are much more polished, making the vocals seem even less strong by contrast.

Favorite tracks include the previously mentioned "Hanging From Fences", the darker (comparatively) track "Posturing and Freaks", and "Seems Like A Million Years" with its catchy keyboard and bittersweet guitar melodies. Also "Let's Do It All Again" most successfully utilizes lead singer Eryn Gettys' sweet, retro vocals in a way that makes the song a dreamy throwback that fuses the authenticity of the The Shirelles with the modern retro twist of The Pipettes.

For indie pop fans, the album is worth a listen. If you like The Reindeer Section, Band Of Horses, Ambulance Ltd., Ra Ra Riot, Album Leaf, or Metric, consider giving Masonic a chance. They just might be right up your alley.

-Kelsey Rodgers

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