"Plymouth Rock" (Middle Class Pig Records)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

There is something at once retro and at once modern about The Masons' sound. The music is a hard rockin' boogie beat, heavy on the guitars and delivered with a beatnick kind of charisma. It's a sound that approaches punk rock (especially with track #8, "Devils Son") without actually crossing into that territory. It's garage rock at its purest.

What makes The Masons so hard to stomach isn't the music, which is a fine cross of heavy metal and Dick Dale, but the vocals. For some reason, the Masons have decided to bury their vocals with an electronic filter popular with industrial artists like Nine Inch Nails. Hey, it works on some songs but not every single song. In fact, it becomes rather annoying. 

Thankfully, that effect comes and goes - but it's there more often than not. And that's too bad, because it really hurts what The Masons were trying to do: A retro rock sound that modern day rockers would love. 

Hence, "Plymouth Rock" is one of those CDs that "coulda been." The talent and potential are there; unfortunately, due to some bad production decisions, it just doesn't quite make it.

THE MASONS are Tom Frank - guitar and vocals; Divo Garcia - bass; Suzy Owens - drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2000 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:59:46 -0400.