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Mezzopalo - Underskin Stories

Underskin Stories
by MarcusTheRocker at 08 September 2014, 9:55 PM

Italy, a country surrounded by beauty and views that take your breath away, and as someone who has been there on holiday, I would definitely choose to go back there again. I don’t really know many Italian musicians but the ones I do know are music geniuses, such as Alessandro Del Vecchio and Stefano Lionetti. The artist featured in this review is an Italian Hard Rock band that go by the name of MEZZOPALO and this year their debut album, “Underskin Stories”, is released and the question I am going to ask is, is this a good album out of a country I want to re-visit? Let us find out.

Formed in the late 90’s in Trento in Italy, this quintet of Italian rockers began their career as a cover band, playing their own versions of well-known rock songs to live crowds. In 2005, they released their first release which was an EP called “Sweat”, and since then, they have been beavering away getting their debut album ready and now after nearly ten years, it is ready and the finished product is “Underskin Stories”.

So what do we have here? On the face of it, it should be like a quality Hard Rock album where everything is raw, pure and clear, without anything that sounds too poor or of low quality. Upon first listens, it gets the most of that criteria right as there is a lot of clear sound in the mix and the production but on some songs, the vocals seem a bit hit and miss, but it’s only a minor issue that fortunately doesn’t occur on every song as there are some where the vocal performance is stronger, and when you listen to those strong songs, it makes you forget about the problem on the others, as the singer definitely has some charismatic vocals that’s for sure.

Often, that can be as good as having a bit of charisma in your vocals and can often make up for a slightly iffy vocal performance in places, and if you have that, the iffy vocals in some places in your music doesn’t really seem like a big issue anymore and rather fortunately, that is the case here as the delivery and the effort put into the performance is very impressive.

So what about the music? We’ve already established that upon first listens it sticks to the same Hard Rock formula as other bands in the genre and it stays loyal to the formula on all ten songs, which clock in at 46 minutes total play time. The production for this is very good when you bear in mind that it is a debut album and often some debuts can sound very poor in the mixing & production process, but that does not occur here thankfully.

I’ve always had a soft spot for European bands, as I think they produce some of the best Rock music, aside from the Americans, but that said, I have listened to some European bands which are not so great, so are MEZZOPALO a good European band, or a poor one? The verdict is that they fall into the good category, as this is exactly what a Hard Rock album should be like. And if you take the somewhat iffy vocals in places out of the equation, then you have a good balance and a good blend of Rock that will color you impressed. Even if you’re not convinced upon first listen, the more you listen, the more you find it will grow on you if you ignore any issues you may find as often the performance and the delivery will win you over.

So what are my overall impressions on this Italian Hard Rock quintet? On the face of it, I do like what they have been able to come up with here, and often I will overlook any problems with the music I listen to and review, and in some places with this album I did overlook the issues already addressed, as I was impressed with the performance and the clarity of the music, and that stood out to me the most.

3 Star Rating

1. Enough Of You
2. No Reaction
3. Ain’t Up For TV
4. Honolulu
5. Shady and Shiny
6. Conversation
7. Skeletons
8. Sea Of Fools
9. Bad Habits
10. Another Sip Of Hell
Cristian Marcolla - Vocals
Nicola Conci - Guitar
Michele Pezze' - Guitar
Cristiano Di Cecco - Bass
Renzo Meola - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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