shakes things up - Up & Coming Weekly/Zwire!

Up & Coming Weekly / Zwire! Fayetteville, NC February 08, 2006

Music Scene
By: Brian Dukes

Mascara Spell (EP)

I can't remember the last time I wrote a review of a Boston band. Heck, I can't remember the last time I wrote anything about Boston ... at all.

Well, that's about to change.

It's with a salute to the best gender-bending traditions of Franz Ferdinand and Freddie Mercury that you'll find the music of Mascara. Their latest release, a six-track EP entitled Spell, is out to generate buzz about their next upcoming full-length. And if the desired effect is to produce curiosity, then the Mascara has run its proper course.

Some will listen to Spell and hear "weird;" some will listen and hear "avant garde genius." The truth probably lies somewhere between those two points; but make no mistake - Mascara is unique and exactly the kind of music that shakes things up every so often. And that's a good thing. Think Radiohead in drag or what would happen if Frank Zappa had a love child with Robert Plant.

Lead vocalist and frontman Chris Mascara (yes, that's his real name) has great pipes and a great sense of showmanship as a singer (and, yes, you can hear that on a CD). Mascara the man, as well as the band, is unafraid to try different, off-kilter rhythms or to experiment with musical elements. Spell is not your straightforward release. It's musical and theatrical insanity.

And while that may not be everyone's cup of tea, it's a necessary counterpoint to the musical "norm."