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There Is a Moth In Your Chest

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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.


Formed: 2003 in Alpena, MI

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Indie rock band Mason Proper formed in Alpena, MI, in 2003, and include Jonathan Visgr (vocals, guitar, keyboard), Matt Thomson (keyboard, guitar), Zac Fineberg (bass), Brian Konicek (guitar), and Jesse Parsons (drums). Originally going under the name Patterns in Paris, the bandmembers relocated within the state to Ypsilanti and switched their name to Mason Proper. January 2006 saw a self-release of their debut album, There Is a Moth in Your Chest, featuring cover art by Aaron Burtch of Grandaddy....
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There Is a Moth In Your Chest, Mason Proper
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