Released today, Mason Proper's LP "Olly Oxen Free" is significantly less of a hard-rocker than their 2006 debut "There is a Moth in Your Chest," but it seems to decently capture a more measured, laid-back tone - stretching out the wavelength while managing to retain the same amplitude and intensity of their previous offering.
At the start, Jonathan Visger's ominous vocalizations have me looking over my shoulder, expecting stalkers in the form of electric-guitar-wielding apparitions. From spooky opener "Fog" and slow-ish head-bobbers "Point A to Point B" and "Lock and Key" to the progressively emerging pulse of closer "Safe For The Time Being," the whole tone captures a tune-in-and-zone-out feel, without ever approaching the fuzziness that often defines "shoe gaze."
It's not an album to consume in small bites - it works best as a whole. Start at Track One and let the guitar-driven melancholy draw you in and immerse you in its murky depths. Ten songs in thirty-seven minutes may be a bit brisk, but that's what "repeat" buttons are for.