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Mezzanine Owls - Slingshot Echoes Review

by Patrick Muldowney

Slingshot Echoes is the best unsigned release since Clap Your Hands…, but once this is released on a label (which would only make sense unless the band is intentionally anti-establishment), there is no reason for it not to take off like Turn on the Bright Lights. In fact, Mezzanine Owls has a little more mass appeal than Interpol because it lacks the semi-goth theatrics of predecessors like Joy Division. The vocals can be fragile (think Luna) at moments, but the presence of the guitars (reminiscent to Swervedriver) do not expose this as a weakness, but soar omnisciently under it instead, carrying the lyrics heavenward. Given this unique chemistry, Mezzanine Owls is not the depressing, plodding shoegazer band, which is already a common misnomer. If a label must be placed, stargazer would be more appropriate.

"Lightbulb" is an obvious single. Pauline Mu's constant hi-hat fills are addictive, the guitars fill the ozone, the bass keeps the spirit grounded (like Adam Clayton), and the lyrics, "Can't you see it sucks the life right out of me/I know your shoulders weigh a ton", achieve the opposite effect, energizing the track. Even though "Lightbulb" may be the common ground for realizing the greatness of Mezzanine Owls, Slingshot Echoes has a definitive trademark of a great album, in that as you continue to listen, it evolves, and as it evolves your enjoyment of all the different tracks evolve. Depending on the day and mood, it is very easy to change your personal favorite without having to change discs. For the past month, this has been the only disc in my car because it's a balanced meal.

Mezzanine Owls is on the cusp of greatness; this self-released album proves such greatness was earned, rather than created by some label-backed studio. It's just up to all of us to take notice and prove that we value what is genuine and true about music. A few years ago, my friend, Bob, was so excited about Turn on the Bright Lights, he was telling everyone he knew and even bought a few extra copies to give to friends. Slingshot Echoes deserves that type of reaction.

Tracks added to iPod: moving ground, luxury spirits, coyote, lightbulb, graceless, counting backwards, we don't, a draft, wake up, flashing lights, dark too early (*that's every track*)

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Mezzanine Owls - Slingshot Echoes


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