JAM Magazine Sarasota Springs, FL
April 6, 2000
Mascara - Cellar Door
Chris Mascara, (yes, it's his real name) is one of God's gifts to rock & roll. His musical genius first surfaced when he was 8, when he taught himself classical organ and performed professionally at churches and on the radio. From there, his resume includes at least three Boston-area bands and credits in the cast of Jesus Christ Superstar, where he was also the understudy for the role of Jesus. So he can sing and play and has a popular stage presence.
He can also write incredibly creepy and insightful rock songs; songs that are literate and reflect the poetry and fiction he reads. "A is for Apple, B is Brainstem, C is Cranium, D is Dead..." he writes in "Electrode" a song for poet Sylvia Plath. Plath received electroshock therapy at the same hospital where Mascara later recovered from a nervous breakdown, a period that he draws on for "Carnival." His music and lyrics are dark, disturbing. Ned Smith loans his drums to the album, as well as an occasional voice. Tim Kelly's lapsteel and lute give Cellar Door an exotic thrill, as do Mascara's own occasional sitar. Nate McBride completes the talented ensemble with his bass (electric and acoustic) and, again, vocals where necessary. Mascara is a talented band, creating refreshingly original songwriting.