Subterranean Masquerade - The Pros & Cons Of Social Isolation review

Bandcamp music player

15 users:
Band: Subterranean Masquerade
Album: The Pros & Cons Of Social Isolation
Release date: November 2020

01. Ascend [Live From Quarantine]
02. As You Are [Surfer version]
03. Blanket Of Longing
04. Tour Diary (In America)
05. Nomad || נומאד
06. Another Day In Paradise [Phil Collins cover]
07. No Place Like Home
08. Place For Fairytales (Daydreaming)

A cocktail with many different flavours in it.

The Pros & Cons Off Social Isolation is a fun record. For the most part… There you go, that's my conclusion for this record. But let's discuss this a bit further. When I saw the track listing of this record, I was intrigued and at the same time a bit worried as well; it looked like a hotchpotch of different elements and ideas. As it turns out, that this is exactly the case.

Now, I want to start off with the performance of the band. It's excellent: groovy drum and guitar parts, good vocals and tasteful bass touches. The band has chemistry and it shows throughout the whole album; you can feel their passion and how much they enjoy making music, something which the "Another Day In Paradise" collaboration only puts even more in the spotlight. Variety is also present on The Pros & Cons of Social Isolation, from the groove-heavy opener to a more electronic-inspired song, with some room for a cheesy horror-themed surf rock track in between. Those are the first 3 songs on the album, by the way; it's quite a ride.

However, now is the time to say that some of my worries came to fruition. The songs are so diverse, it's almost bound to have a track (or two, or more...) that don't appeal to the listener. For me, it was the 3rd and 4th tracks, one because it didn't really feel all that unique compared to the other tracks, and the other because it was maybe too unique for my taste. I know, I know… I'm weird… And even some of the songs that I like, I'm glad there's only one in that style on this album; the surf rock one is a perfect example of that.

Production is very solid on this one. Guitars are pronounced, but maintain the subtlety you'd want for a psychedelic rock record. Drums and bass are layered in well. The vocals get a prominent place in the mix; both the softer and the more energetic vocal parts are mixed in beautifully.

I mentioned cocktails in my introduction. Well, this really is a blend of many things into one big concoction, and like I said it's both its biggest strength and weakness. You're most likely not going to like everything. On the flipside, I can't imagine a listener not liking any of the songs on this record, because there's something for everyone.

You've probably noticed my score for this record already, and normally that score would result in me saying that the record is pretty solid but not a must-listen. I guess that's still the case, although I still recommend giving it a chance. This isn't one of those albums that is solid but a little predictable and boring. No, this is an effort that will have clear ups and downs for you, but those ups and downs are because of the uniqueness of every song, and that's what I kind of admire about The Pros & Cons Of Social Isolation.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 9
Production: 7


Written on 17.11.2020 by You know I'm right, you just haven't realised it yet...


Comments: 6   Visited by: 66 users
17.11.2020 - 09:51

I haven't listened to this band in a long time. To be honest the only reason I ever checked them out was because of the drum work of Tino Losicco. I haven't listened to them since either. Maybe I should give their newer stuff a try.
17.11.2020 - 10:14
This is pretty clearly not a "serious" album, but more of a "something fun to do while we are in quarantine" type of thing. Hence why it's more of a mixed bag.

I hope you did check out the previous Subterranean Masquerade releases because they're an amazing prog band.
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?

2021 goodies
17.11.2020 - 10:25
At best deranged
Written by RaduP on 17.11.2020 at 10:14

I hope you did check out the previous Subterranean Masquerade releases because they're an amazing prog band.

I'm going to do that in the future. I mentioned it in my review as well but it was pretty clear to me that these guys have chemistry, so I will definitely give a listen to some of their other work.
17.11.2020 - 11:31

Yeah, clearly an amusement project for during lockdown, but it is fun and very enjoyable, if rather up and down. Agreed with Radu that their regular stuff is very good
18.11.2020 - 23:02

I just wanted to point out, that this album is almost completely a remix/alt-versions-of-previous songs album - the 2 exceptions are the first track, and the Phil Collins cover
22.02.2021 - 20:56
Meat and Potatos
As I grew listening to these guys ever since their first album I have been progressively losing interest, as I find the sound more and more bland instead of appealing.
I thought it was my taste that was changing, but now listening to No Place Like Home here and comparing to the superb original version makes it all clear that it's actually the overproduction the one to blame.
Overproduction is the main reason why I can't enjoy prog most of the time. Everything becomes so well rounded and equalized that nothing really stands out. A shame, really...
Rose is red, violet is blue. Flag is win, Baba is you.

Hits total: 1294 | This month: 39