A few months ago, I had the pleasure of reviewing Simon Masterson’s brilliantly catchy single, Same Blue Jeans, a song that appeared to speak of seeking comfort by grounding yourself through nostalgia and routine. This all seems funny now, as our collective normality has been shaken to the core by the current COVID-19 crisis. Many of us will have adopted new routines to cope with this. One of mine is drinking cheap, twisty-cap Budweiser and playing Xbox One until 4 am, as if this isolation period has created a ripple in time, causing me to regress into my student self. Despite this, there are numerous reasons to smile, such as all the great new music that we’re listening to here at Independent Music News. I was happy to discover that Masterson’s full-length album, Animal Rites, is out tomorrow, and after playing it, it didn’t disappoint.
Continuing the tradition of Same Blue Jeans and Mountpleasant, the songwriting skill with which Masterson crafts his music is impressive. From the opening track, No Good Crooks, it’s clear that Animal Rites is going to be full of anthemic melodies that will be belted out at festivals around the world.
Throughout the album, several issues are tackled, such as modern culture, the media, and religion. One highlight for me was song five, Fuck The Radio, partially because I find that title particularly punk for an independent artist. For many musicians, it’s tempting to flatter and please radio stations in an attempt to get exposure. Simon, however, has the guts to say what he really feels about our Americanised and consumerist society. This level of care and detail is present throughout the lyrics in the album, and it would take too long to dissect all of the intricate lines that he presents, so the best thing to do is hear it all for yourself and pay close attention.
The eponymous closing track, Animal Rites, is a beautiful and uplifting tune that finishes things like the perfect scene in your favourite film. Equal parts inspiring and uplifting, there’s a prophetic quality to this song that makes you want to go back to the start and listen all over again. Expertly blending memorable hooks, classic melodies, and thought-provoking lyrics, this is an album that deserves your attention, and we highly recommend you go and check it out!