Who Wants The Future from US Christian rock punksters Mason Summers is an album which has been out a while but easily deserves another look at for those who still have not come across its unique and distinct presence. With the band working on their new album the time felt right to re-expose the irresistible if slightly warped creative charms at play within Who Wants The Future. Like all the best faith driven releases it does not preach or make demands, just hopes to persuade one to look and think about things whilst giving full pleasure at the same time. That the album certainly does its unpredictable and slightly manic fusion of imaginative ideas and ‘random’ sounds delicious and rewarding. It is a release which in places takes a little warming to but once fully engaged leaves nothing but greedy satisfaction in its wake.
From meeting at church one day and realising their shared love of punk rock music, the trio of vocalist/guitarist Mikey Scars, vocalist/bassist Lydia Danger, and drummer Napalm Nate, have toured the US and UK supporting the likes of Flatfoot 56, Children 18:3, Mustard Plug, Peelander Z, Street Dogs, The Toasters and many more along the way. As with the album, their live performances grab attention and ignite full enthusiasm for their compulsive sounds, Mason Summers is a band once heard never forgotten or deserted.
The seventeen track riot of fun starts with the title track, a song which with uncomplicated charm sweeps the ear into an accomplished piece of raw edged rock n roll. With strong guitar and bass riffs backed by the firm rhythms of Nate, the song is a steady and pleasing start if slightly underwhelming in hindsight once into the heart of the release. It is a song which suggests great things like the excellent dual vocals between Danger and Scars which subsequent songs prove and expand on; here her tones are gentle glances against the leading delivery of Scars but the following Battleflag reveals she is an equally feisty vocalist and the perfect foil and companion to the direct style of Scars. This second song is a more abrasive proposition, a hardnosed attitude offering but complete with additional warm reprieves in emotion and warmth such as an excellent melodic mix of children vocals alongside the returning caresses of Danger.
As it plays the album just gets better and better, a mighty run of three consecutive tracks starting with Devils Plea the first major highlight of the album. The track is a seductive lure of mischievous vocals, teasing keys, and heated energies from guitar and intent. Scars sounds like a muscular version of former Only Ones front man Peter Perrett, his roguish tones expressive and emotive whilst Danger entwined with the guitars and rhythms is the wonderful serpent in the mix. The equally outstanding Lonely Planet steps up next, a track which opens with a sweet heavy bass murmuring before expanding into keys and melodic guitar strokes which remind of The Jam from their A Town Called Malice era. With additional flares of sax, the song is a thumping slice of punk pop with only its briefness a negative.
Pedestal was the first song we came across from the band and immediately opened the door to an enthused interest. It was an infectious joy at the time and still fully captures the imagination. It is a strolling mix of psychobilly and punk laced with noise rock which just flicks all the right switches. From the cantering beats and tingling piano jousts to the sinister sample and challenging intent of the great dual vocals, it is a masterful evocative piece of rock.
Tracks like Keep It Unusual with the bass of Danger once more stealing the show, the haunting rock n roll romp though shadows and shimmering blues heat that is Fall To Pieces where the whisper of The Cramps is more than just on lips, and the garage punk fuelled Pride, all make their companionship a lingering joy. To be fair you can say that about every song. Some as mentioned take longer to persuade but all eventually leave a willing thirst for more.
The reggae sauntering of Two Or More and the excellent closing punk storm of You Really Bring Me Down with Danger leading the way vocally alongside off the leash keys and sax, provide a couple more pinnacles in an album where there are only highs. Who Wants The Future is a gem, a release which might need time to prove itself but is far more rewarding than any instant pop punk candy treat and longer lasting.
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