Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Reviews:: Doug Mason - Fox Pirate

I don't think there's any question that the term "the Halifax Sound", as a descriptor for the music scene in our fair city ceased being useful ages and ages ago (forget tight pants, many of the kids involved in the scene now were in short pants when it was last relevant - should I stop using the word "scene" now? I think I should). However, there are still songs and albums I hear occasionally that bring that term back to mind. Case in point: Doug Mason's new album, Fox Pirate.

There's a logical reason for this, as Doug has been playing in bands here ("here" in this case would actually include Halifax and Doug's native Dartmouth) since Spin, Subpop and others first started taking an interest in what Sloan and them kids from Clayton Park were doing out here. I mean, it's hard to hear a song like Poutine Village, and not think back to the early 90's, when indie music was full of fuzzy guitars, but also plenty of lighthearted lyrics. I say this because if heart attack serious lyrics are your thing, then I doubt Fox Pirate is for you:

Let's get drunk, let's get high
We'll go home and have some fries
They'll be baked, not deep-fried
I'm not allowed, because of fire

I mean, being honest, Doug isn't going to win a Juno for his songwriting (then again, does anyone good win Junos? HI-O!!!), but his songs are fun, and pretension-free, and they've won me over. Well it also helps that they're also mighty catchy (I honestly still have no clue what Ranchus And Ryukins is about, goldfish maybe? But it was stuck in my head for a few days), and well made (there are plenty of welcome little touches to be found, like the backwards-sounding guitar on the outro to It's True This Time). As on his previous releases, Doug recruited some of his musically inclined friends (Cliff Gibb, Jarrett Murphy, and Dave Chisholm) to help him on the record, but all the recording and mixing was done by Doug in his home studio, also dubbed Poutine Village.

Now, there's perhaps something else you should know about Dough Mason: his name is actually Michael Jackson, and you may know him from his work as Trevor on the beloved, but now defunct, Trailer Park Boys. I think you see what I've done here, as music review 101 would be to drop that first, in order to prejudice the reader as early as possible. Well, music review 101 isn't my steez, as my rambles would certainly produce an F in any such class, and also because the last dude to try that was a certain Scott Bryson from Chart Attack. The same Scott Bryson who now has a fun song named after him on Fox Pirate, it's track 13, Scott Bryson Is A Douche.

Hopefully I've said enough here to not only avoid being the next target - I'd certainly enjoy having a song named after me, but perhaps something a little bit more festive, but also to get you on board with giving Doug Mason and Fox Pirate a chance. If the thought of an album that can make you smile, if you let it, while also wearing it's indie-90's influences proudly, sounds like it's in your wheelhouse, then I think you should.

Posted at 1:06 PM by naedoo :: 1 comments

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At 4:44 PM, Anonymous r did sayeth:

this ones in the running for record of the year.


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