Pop-rockers, Lotus Mason, have made their mark on the other side of the world in front man, Blair Jollands’ homeland of New Zealand and now the 4 piece have brought their brand of electronic infused pop rock to British shores.
Taking the album on opening track, ‘Beso’, alone, you could be fooled into thinking that Lotus Mason are sort of a Keane v.02. Majestic piano and powerful vocals, much like those that defined the Keane sound, permeate the ballad gracefully, but it feels like an imitation – it’s all a little bit ‘Somewhere Only We Know’
As the album progresses though, the bands’ eponymous debut evolves into something far more captivating. They embrace electronic elements increasingly, one moment seeming inspired by early 80’s electro-pop and the next they bear striking resemblance to the Flaming Lips.
‘Automatic Human’ is a turning point. The band pick up the pace, switching briefly from the down tempo opener and ballad-like ‘Apple’, to a more dance orientated sound. Combining funky slap bass with Jollands’ vocal, it’s a standout.
‘Broken Silence’ epitomises the Flaming Lips influence; the synth bass could have been lifted straight out of Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robot. ‘Honey Trap’, which follows, has truly euphoric moments and is frustratingly familiar.
As the album draws to a close the quartet introduce more acoustic ideas. Both ‘Dream of You’ and ‘Signs of Life’ open with lone acoustic guitar and grow into anthemic rock.
However, Jollands’ vocals don’t match the anthemic instrumentals, sounding too deep at times and strained, as if in competition. As Jollands sings “No, nothing seems to change” it’s just not as good as when he uses a softer voice.
Lotus Mason are at their best experimenting with the electronic and utilising bass, but fall short of reaching the heights they seem to be grasping at.