Folk Rock: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 136
Mezclado - Mezclado - self-released - 12 songs - CD, cassette, digital
Here’s the debut album from Columbus punk/psych/Latin/indie band Mezclado— and it’s a good one! All that stuff stuck together could easily end up sounding gimmicky, but this band is able to make it all work. “Fed Up” kicks the record off with a solid punk track with a great vocal performance and I love the little guitar leads in the intro and through the verses. Dan (the one who sings this song) switches to Spanish at times so I’m not entirely sure what all is being said, but it sounds cool. Next is “Sick,” which starts with bass and drums and some “abstract” guitar in the style of John Morton or Mr. California then bursts into an aggressive chorus— I don’t really know what all Joe (the one who sings this song) is talking about, but it sounds cool. I really like the sort of post-punk, almost Cure-like feel to the verses of “Snake Driver” and it’s got a great, catchy chorus. “Sunday Dread” has an almost-surf (but not quite) guitar sound with an almost-reggae (but not quite) beat and the bored-sounding vocal delivery perfectly fits the mood of the song. The psychedelic vibe is very present on “Piggies,” even when Wyatt (the one who sings this song) gets louder. “Don’t Slow Down” might be my favorite on the album; a very catchy, hooky garage-punk song with a great guitar part during the chorus and sort of rambling vocals and lyrics (I think at one point he talks about smoking with his dad, which is cool), plus a part at the end where the guitars and bass do the Thin Lizzy thing and play the same part in harmony. “Stay Around” and “Tired All The Time” are both a bit more mellow— the former feels kind of “desert” to me (I don’t know what that means) and has some odd but cool gang backing vocals, the latter has a very psychedelic vocal melody, plus a part where it speeds up and then slows back down which always brings me joy. “Cara Y Piel” has the most Latin influence of any of the songs musically— I unfortunately don’t know enough about Latin music to be more specific than that, my apologies, but I do enjoy it— and then goes into a psych-noise-jam part at the end, which I believe is supposed to neatly segue into “Never Try” but has an abrupt stop before “Never Try” begins (at least on the CD; perhaps this isn’t an issue with the cassette but I’m not sure). Besides that little stumble, “Never Try” is a good jammer/rallying cry. “Pachuco” is another good straightforward punk track which works well as bookends with “Fed Up” and has a great example in the instrumental part right before the guitar solo of how easily they can slip the psychedelic stuff in and then slip right back into punk without it feeling jarring whatsoever. And there’s a saxophone on this one! The album ends with “Adios Adios” which I believe is a field recording of sorts of some more traditional sounding Latin music (acoustic guitar and trumpet, predominantly) but if I’m wrong and it’s actually the band it’s pretty impressive. Anyway, a really solid record overall. 4/5
Are you a local-ish band? Do you have a record out? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or send it directly to the Observer: PO Box 770203, Lakewood, OH 44107.