Los Angeles' Mezzanine Owls are somewhat new to the scene and have actually been receiving some local LA blog love in the last two months. We finally got our grubby little paws on the CD not too long ago, and can confirm that it is everything that you have been reading about. If you are new to the band, which I am sure a lot of you out there are, it consists of four members - Jack, Pauline, Jonathan and Dan - and they just recorded their debut album, Slingshot Echos, with Andy Lemaster (Now Its Overhead, Bright Eyes, Azure Ray) at Chase Park Transduction in Athens, GA. As a matter of fact, this project is so new that the band is without website and only a Myspace page that was created in March 2006.
Mezzanine Owls started off as another band called The Few, which morphed into the current project at hand. Unfortunately, The Few flew far under the radar; something that I put money on not happening to Mezzanine Owls. The sound maybe somewhat similar, Conor Oberst-esque vocals backed up with music that resembles a southern indie Jayhawks meets shoegazer Ride/Jesus and Mary Chain sound. Odd, yes; but it totally works. For example, take one of the best tracks on the album, "Lightbulb." Jangley guitars and a steady, train like drumbeat keeps this track on repeat in my iTunes. "We Don't" is a little darker utilizing layered backing harmonies that build into an eruption at the end of the song, much like Arcade Fire did on their last album. The anthem choruses don't stop there; on "Dark Too Early," the last song on the record, a huge one is belted out at the end. Other tracks not to be missed include the countrified "Coyote," the pounding "Graceless" and the opener, "Moving Ground."
What it comes down to is this: the world has been without a good indie pop recording for a long time. Hopefully with a little help from their friends, fans and a little luck on their side, Mezzanine Owls will fill this void. In the meantime do yourself a favor; give your tired record collection a rest and try Mezzanine Owls on for size. Your stereo will thank you.