Subtropical Spin

Just Shake Hands (School Night Records)

Meet Mason, West Palm Beach post-punk quintet whose soon-to-be-released Just Shake Hands is actually scream-worthy.

Skylar Mondell, Jesse Lee, Brandon Shaffer, Brian Burliegh, and Anthony Young are vicious as a five-headed Hydra. But their racket is not without sunny guitars, soothing silences, and idyllic, tender bridges.

Mondell's vertiginous voice is a cross between Phantom Planet's Alexander Greenwall and the Cure's Robert Smith, but he's got a metal yell -- the teenager transitions from plaintive croons to supple shrieks in seconds.

These seven screamo songs chronicle uncertain pubescent relationships, though their core doesn't reveal inner angst but a tougher take-it-or-leave-it bravado more indicative of punk-rock proper. In "We Don't Talk About Tom Buchanan," Mondell bawls, "I need you like I need a shotgun blast to the face/I never knew how much I liked next-in-line till I met you." Turbine guitars and crashing cymbals whirl around him like a tempest; Mason is a bit of a botch-up but cocksure.

Available at schoolnightrecords.com.

 
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