Steve Mason - Monkey Minds In The Devil’s Time

Mason’s best since Beta Band’s The Three EPs

Monkey Minds In The Devil’s Time

After 2010’s deeply personal
Boys Outside, Mason’s
second solo album explores
the global political climate –
perhaps inevitable following
his increasingly angry
on-stage outbursts about
Tony Blair and the past
decade’s pointless warfare.
An attack on the lack of
dissenting voices in popular
culture, if this isn’t Mason’s
bona fide masterpiece, it’s
certainly approaching it.

Recorded with Bat For
Lashes/Toy producer Dan
Carey, Monkey Minds In The
Devil’s Time is a nine-song
album with 11 linking pieces,
ranging in length from
a handful of seconds to a few
minutes (the ska-infused The
Last Of Heroes or the
bells’n’bass groove of Safe
Population to the grinding
musique concrète of Behind
The Curtains), giving the whole
an unmistakably melancholy
feel. Sonically, it’s akin to Paul
McCartney’s debut solo
album, with its doodles and
bridging pieces adding to,
rather than distracting from,
the quality of the songs. But
that’s where the similarity ends.

More Money, More Fire and
Fight The Back, the former
featuring London MC Mystro,
examine the 2011 London
riots, while Lonely stands out as
one of the best songs Mason’s
ever written: full of pathos and
augmented with a female choir.
Elsewhere, the more personal
Close To Me provides an
optimistic closer to something
you only want to hear in its
entirety.

5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars

Double Six | DS 069 CD

Reviewed by Daryl Easlea
<< Back to Issue 412

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