A form of literature, the novella is short by nature but leaves a lasting impression on the reader filled with a burning desire to want more. Novella the debut EP from Mezzanine is exactly like what it is named after; it’s a short EP but its impact of dynamic indie rock continues from the very beginning up until the point when you want to listen to it again.
The layered guitars begin to whir with harshness and alarm from the first second of opening song ‘Can’t Feel a Thing’ and the rolling drums pushing it forward. The vocals are strained to an extent where it sounds as if there is desperation in Cory John Rist’s voice, as he begins to louden with a screeching “I miss you, I love you” feeding the flame with noise and desperation lust.
The title track ‘Novella’ has a prominent thumping bass which drives the song. Suddenly pop sounding guitars arrive which give a melodic tempo and familiar feeling. The vocals become a slight reminiscent of Jarvis Cocker with his lowness and his ability to make a whisper twist to his very whim (a cross between catchiness and vibrancy).
However all of this shifts with the lengthy instrumental ‘The Guardian’ which at times feels as if it is about to hit with an explosive point but continues along as if it were taunting us with false verbosity. Without the vocals it loses Mezzanine’s power as it often feels like a prolonged jam.
The last chapter of Novella is ‘Apology’ and it is an ending of grandeur quality. Here the vocals seem to be straining as he is fed up with all of this constant chasing and desperation. It’s a fantastic song where the guitars stand out and buzz, sounding like a solid lo-fi garage band. The feedback ends this story of strained fiery emotion and classic indie rock.
Novella leaves you to wonder if Rist’s struggle will ever end. Being a standout EP where the guitars give a familiar old-school feel but sound uniquely independent.
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