Review Summary: With ‘Novella’, Mezzanine succeeds in telling the listener a complex little story featuring many twists and turns...
A debut EP is the starting point for most artists in the music business and it has to be unique enough to draw its own audience. Perth band Mezzanine has shown their uniqueness by creating their own blend of rock and aptly titling their debut EP ‘Novella’. A ‘Novella’ is a short novel that is slightly longer than a short story in literary terms. Going by this Mezzanines debut EP ‘Novella’ should be a small musical journey with plenty to offer.
‘Can’t Feel A Thing’ is the first cut off Mezzanines debut EP ‘Novella’; it erupts like a volcano into a peaceful night sky and also serves as their first single. The major bang that kicks off this album is the result of a well crafted blazing guitar riff backed up by a solid drum beat. After the ferocious beginning to ‘Can’t Feel A Thing’ the music softens up to allow lead singer Cory John Risk to deliver his lyrics to the audience. Cory John Rists voice expels nothing but emotion and builds up into harsh screams to coincide with the increasing intensity of the track. The anticipation continues to grow throughout the bridge of the track and this lets listeners know early that they can expect an epic closing approaching fast. The added spacey guitar effects and repetition of ‘I hate you, I love you’ in the bridge continues to gain momentum and finally concludes with a hectic ending that doesn’t disappoint. Once ‘Can’t Feel A Thing’ finishes the EP moves along quickly with the title track ‘Novella’, which keeps Mezzanine’s story flowing. ‘Novella’ begins with a bass line and drum beat that is guaranteed to get the feet tapping. The vocals this time around are much quieter than the previous track and at times feel as though they are lost within the music. Whether this was intended or not, it makes the song feel very dreamlike and the listener delves deeper into the story Mezzanine are sculpting. Pop influenced tempo shifts throughout the chorus shoot more life into this song and set it up for a beautifully brief guitar plucked ending.
As the page turns yet again in Mezzanines ‘Novella’, the track presented next is solely instrumental. ‘The Guardian’ starts with a electric guitar that creates a sense of uneasiness within the listener, which is backed by a strong bass line and tight drumming that would bring passerby’s to a standstill. The electric guitar leads from the front and weaves its way in and out of the other instruments in style. ‘The Guardian’ offers listeners a rich sense of depth by excluding vocals and allowing the individual the ability to connect with the music itself. This musical display would translate well to a live audience and act as a perfect interlude between other songs, as it does for the final track ‘Apologize’. ‘Apologize’ keeps the old school rock feel flowing and features lyrics delivered through a passionate, catchy chorus. The vocals throughout the bridge sound ghostly and match exactly what the guitar is trying to say. This final track sees everything we’ve previously learnt about the band accumulate and reach a huge ending to what was a unique debut EP.
‘Novella’ sees yet another talented young Australian band put their hands up to claim they want to take over the country. Tight drumming, catchy guitar riffs and pounding bass lines combined with Cory John Rists vocals, that could quite easily be filed somewhere between The Cars front man Ric Ocasek and The Cures lead singer Robert Smith, create some very interesting music that warrants a large audience. With ‘Novella’, Mezzanine succeeds in telling the listener a complex little story featuring many twists and turns. So if this EP is the equivalent to a short novel in the book industry, we can only hope that the future sees Mezzanine releasing a complete novel and many sequels after that!