Masonic

Too Far. Too Fast. Too Soon (Spinster)

Texas Platters

Masonic

Too Far. Too Fast. Too Soon (Spinster) Masonic's second effort is the most remarkable handmade pop album to come out of Austin in years. Together with new singer Leah Bogan and bassist Mike Norfleet, the three Mason brothers successfully distill the warm buzz of their 2001 debut, Never Stood a Chance, into an even more potent mix of hooks, sentimentality, and beery energy. A big part of what distinguishes Masonic is their ability to assimilate hints of psychedelia and New Wave into a solid indie pop paradigm without reducing them to kitschy contrivances. They only bring in the theremin, Moog, and Rhodes piano when those implements tangibly service their songs. Masonic writes some great ones, too. The brash morning-after kiss-off "Nothing but a Good Time" is driven by the eternal promise of Friday night, while "Don't You Know Anything" finds Bogan conveying the stoic detachment endemic to decaying relationships with icy, Nico-like precision. "End of Summer," a chlorine-scented slice of melancholia custom-made for last goodbyes, conjures up the same sort of beautiful sadness you hear in classic summer pop hits like ELO's "Telephone Line." The quintet's minimalist version of the Beach Boys' "Don't Worry Baby" strips away the elaborate harmonies and production of the original, leaving only the bare-boned sentiment, but somehow it still works. Too Far. Too Fast. Too Soon is smart without being overthought and emotive without being overwrought. It's pop that doesn't scream, "Hey, I'm pop!" That's how they get you.

****

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
The Infinites
The Infinites
The Infinites (Record Review)

Rachel Rascoe, May 10, 2019

Texas Platters
Bayonne
Drastic Measures (Record Review)

Elise Barbin, May 3, 2019

More by Greg Beets
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
80 local picks from Molly Burch to Brownout

Dec. 28, 2018

Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
80 local picks from Molly Burch to Brownout

Dec. 28, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Masonic

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle