Album | Mason – My Kind of Trouble

It’s been a half-decade since Mason dropped their debut album, Midnight Road. They electrified Arizona crowds with their smoky blues and they’re ready to do it again with a psychedelic lick of paint with My Kind of Trouble. Their second LP packs a heartier punch, recorded with a danceable, livewire jive in mind. They’re still bringing all of the fire that they brought with their first release but with even higher spirits. Like the catgirl on the front cover implies, the band has given the old college try to offering a more vibrant turn this go-around, and they do succeed.

Sometimes, it’s a flash in the pan of 1960s electric blues and rock’n’roll; other times, they up their influence by a few decades and sound more this side of Led Zeppelin. Frontman Jacob Acosta’s impressive vocal chops come in handy, then, capable of suave coos and quavers just as well as he is a guttural rock screech. Somewhere between Elvis and Axl Rose, there’s a rising Tucsonan vocalist that’s selling the blues with respects paid to both. Focus tracks like opener ‘Get Your Kicks’ and lead single ‘Electric Kisses’ highlight this effortless swagger.

Elsewhere, Mason delves into sonic spots that they never quite have before. ‘Head to My Feet’ feels like a spacey surf jam with just as much a homage owed to Pink Floyd as Joe Jones and the Rivieras. The track stretches expectations towards what guitarist and bassists Jason Allen and Barry Young can do; they rock it with a long psychedelic strand, creating a textured environment with his instruments that are a joy to listen to. Nods have to go to the band’s drummer, Andre Gressieux, as well; he offers a rock-solid baseline for the band to navigate from, working his percussion with a self-assured swash on even their fieriest tunes (‘Come My Way’, ‘Don’t You Love Me Anymore’).

The band flirts with classic blues bars this side of B.B. King on the aptly titled ‘Desert Blues’, extolls vintage rockabilly finds on ‘Hey Sally’ (a tune dedicated to Acosta’s grandmother), and drenches itself in varying brands of psychedelic and prog-rock on tunes like ‘Georgia Lynn’. Most impressively, they do so in a cohesive fashion that all feels very much under the brim of the Mason hat. Mason is a collective of go-getting fireballs in the blues biz, and their upwards moment with this sophomore release is palpable.

Words by: Jonathan Frahm