a sound uniquely their own - Instant Magazine

INSTANT Magazine
Boston, MA
April/May 2000 Issue 27

High Octane CD Reviews

Mascara Cellar Door
(Mascara Records)

"Eclecticism" is the first word that comes to my mind a when I think of this album. It contains a collage of a sounds that would not normally blend, but given the tweaked demeanor of the arrangements, seem to work together just fine. Mascara has successfully compounded rock with jazz undertones and the twisted knolls of death we have grown to enjoy, although some more than others. I particularly relished the integration of the child's melody "Fr'ere Jacques" with a guitar composition in the minor key on track #2, "Sweet Anne." Truly, this album survives on the element of surprise, taking the listener from almost experimental, impressionistic bits to very rich and full rhythm drives, and then to virginal sounding guitar solos. The subject material is heavy, and the arrangements are rather aggressive, yet Chris Mascara's voice remains light and youthful. Mascara has also managed to flirt with many fun and provocative topics during the course of "Cellar Door." They cover incest, the incongruities of love and faith, the atrophy of personality as a consequence of over-prescribed mood drugs, and lastly, my favorite manic, Sylvia Plath. (Track #3, "Electrode," is dedicated to her and gives a nod to her regular experiences with shock therapy.) For such integrated and varied material, the band is fairly tight, and produces a sound that is uniquely their own. Those who seek out that which is unfamiliar, and take pleasure in things that have not quite matured to political correctness will find substantial enjoyment in "Cellar Door."

Sebastienne Grey