a, Music

Maston: Shadows

Frank Maston has created a fast-paced, intriguing, and peculiar album with his band Maston’s latest release Shadows, one calling to mind The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and 2012’s breakthrough act Tame Impala. 

The album is whimsical and dreamy, zipping through to its conclusion before you know it—only one of the disc’s tracks clocks in at over 3:30. Although this quick pace renders Shadows as an easy, breezy listen, a few of the tracks meld into somewhat of an indiscernible blur. Instrumental tracks like opener “Strange Rituals” and “King Conrad” lag and drag the album into a bit of a fog—and not an inspiring, drug-induced one either.

The record has a unique and playful sound, experimenting with brass instruments, and inflections of polka music. Standout tracks “(You Were) In Love,” “Young Hearts,” and “Judge Alibaster” keep the album flowing, and contain a more sincere attempt at dynamic and clear vocals. Still, one of Maston’s major downfalls is the lack of vocal consistency on the rest of his tracks—his voice is often muddled and lost in the echoes and wall of sound that he has created with unnecessarily layered instruments.

Unfortunately, some of the songs on the LP never reach their full potential, and instead of leaving the listener wanting more, the short lengths come across as confusing and under-developed. Despite this flaw, the album is worth a quick listen, if only to conjure a wistful, sunny California day in the middle of this dreary Canadian winter.

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