Mellonova - "s/t" EP
(Aporia Records 2000, MN002 CDEP)
From Aural Innovations #14 (January 2001)
Mellonova plays a fairly poppy style of rock with catchy vocals, though the atmosphere can become pretty spacious/dreamy and there's also an aspect of "shoe-gazey" noise guitar at times. As this style of music is not my forte, I'll mention that the label bio states Radiohead, Verve and Swervedriver as influences and I also recently had a crash-course in Pop-Shoe-Gaze via Keith H's recent CD-R compilation, and so realize that Mellonova are not extremely original. But on the whole, I like these tunes quite a bit, despite some of the more commercial leanings.
The EP begins with "Hideeho", a straight-forward rock number, with fairly spacey guitar and keyboards. "Cleaning the Stairs" has a creepier undertone, with some haunting bass, synth and deeper vocals. The vocals in "Maintain Your Happiness" get waaaay too pop-alternative-whiny for me to like... but I like it anyway, and after looking around to make sure I'm alone, I like to sing along here. I guess it helps that the vocals aren't in that lower-register whine which drives me bonkers - you know: the one that many pop-grunge bands like to use. Extremely well-done. "Beneath Augusta" follows with a nice clean-guitar melody, using a similar note sequence to "Hideeho", but a bit prettier, and then the closely miked, emotive vocals kick in with another nice melody of their own: very mello (not a typo). Later the drums and low-mixed noisy rhythm guitar kick in again. The final track, "Accident Prone", is a longer one, lasting over nine minutes, which begins in a similar mode as the previous tunes with more really neat vocals and dreamy guitar, both clean and rhythm/noise. It becomes even dreamier towards the latter part with some soft groovy bass and effects. Almost a "jam". All in all, nothing mind-blowing here, but pleasant, and likely to fit in better with certain tastes. And the album has perfect production throughout.
You can visit Mellonova at their web site.
By phone at 416-975-8320.
Mellonova is distributed by Aporia Records. You can visit their web site.
Contact via snail mail c/o Aporia Records; 120 Dinnick Crescent; Toronto, ON; M4N 1L8; Canada.
Reviewed by Chuck Rosenberg