Mason Proper – Short Hand EP

Mason Proper – Short Hand EP / 2008 Self / 4 Tracks / /

Mason Proper come to their “Short Hand” EP with a sound that has equal parts Nine Inch Nails, Maroon 5 and Depeche Mode jumbled all together. This makes for an interesting sound, and one that immediately hits individuals as unique after the first few notes of “Rest Up” start. The slinky style of the vocals play around the jangly guitars and deep-end drumming that represents the canvas which the vocals can paint. The track creates harmonies that could be present on pop tracks, but the challenging instrumentation that is present during “Rest Up” ensures that even the most abstract-leaning audiophile will find something that they can appreciate. Mason Proper put “Bone Men” second, a track that reduces much of the intricate arrangements that marked “Rest Up”.

The removal of these dense arrangements makes for a more approachable track, but the song only gains legs when a little bit more in the way of challenging arrangements enter into the stew. The band hops over the hump with “Friendship”, a twinkling track that is formed through the ups and down of the vocals that lead off the track. The dystopian sound of the resulting instrumentation creates an otherworldly sound that simultaneously approaches nineties alternative and sixties pop, folding them into Mason Proper’s sound. Few EPs are impressive on their own right – many introduce fans to one or two tracks that are good – but “Short Hand” is something that hits on all cylinders. Mason Proper will be big in the next few years; their quirky sound is endearing in much the same way that Duckie did in Pretty in Pink. Give the disc a go as soon as possible.

Top Track: Friendship

Rating: 7.1/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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