Launching straight into U2 ‘Rattle And Hum’ territory with Jump The Rope (from which the album title originates), far from cutting strings, the clearly seasoned indie newcomers Mecuzine reveal an unabashed attachment to the modern end of classic rock.
Bono (songwriter Tony ‘T’ Johns handles the vocals) and The Edge (T and his son Joseph Johns both provide guitar) don’t hang around though. Next track Breaking Hearts carries a strong sense of Th’Dudes’ classic Bliss in the lonely ticking guitar behind the verses and the uplifting all-in choruses.
Let’s stop the vague comparisons there for fear of painting the wrong picture, because this is a very good (new) rock album, and there’s nothing wrong with having a variety of influences show through when they are so dexterously treated. Besides, the influences and date stamps vary track by track, so there’s no getting stuck in a time warp here.
John Beech on keys, drummer Mike Walsh and bassist Tony Lumsden are all very good, versatile exponents of their instruments. Each gets times to shine, with nothing done INXS. (Sorry couldn’t resist that one – see track six, Go.)
Tony Johns has a natural rock voice with impeccable phrasing that’s consistently enhanced by the dynamic band arrangements and recording/mixing work of Kane Bennett. The occasional BVs of Erana Maui are a real bonus in subtly elevating several tracks. Recorded at Silver Point Studios just north of Auckland, this is a strong album that offers plenty for rock radio to consider, and with any justice, embrace.