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Album Review

Mistaken Identity - Nicotine Induced [EP]

Album Review written by olibia

Debut EP Nicotine Induced was released not too long ago; the launch of the EP is of a collaboration with mizeryFree’s album launch this coming Friday. And here’s a little piece of what to expect from Mistaken Identity’s performance at Rouge.

To start off, first look at the front of the EP, Taking Back Sunday, Thursday and likes of those bands came to mind. I guess it has a lot to do with how the cover was designed, the burnt paper sides for background and the fonts mostly. At the back, although the image could be edited some more to depict a less ‘photograph-ish’ feel, the setting the picture was taken in, the positions the people were placed in, and what the people were doing in the picture… All summed up very interestingly because it just seems like the image is telling stories of what could be found in Nicotine Induced. You have to see it to get what I mean. Anyway, another interesting aspect of what was on the back of the EP was the way the title tracks were ‘listed’. Instead of the usual tracks being listed in numeric order, the titled were instead, in bold among short descriptions of what you would find in the songs. However, to be totally honest, I had quite a bit of trouble figuring out which track belonged to which title. Shall not go into details, but that’s listener’s muddleheaded-ness for you. The entire printed booklet in the EP comes across as a visual diary; intended images taken to portray certain emotions or explanations, like how the lyrics of the songs were accompanied by photographs on individual pages of the booklet.

Moving on, the overall recording sounds pretty good; clear vocals and balanced mix of music. Evident effort could be heard put into vocals, of variations in strength of pitches and added effects. On first listen, what would be most ear catching would be the unique guitar arrangements and the use of effects in all of the songs. And later on would be, ‘just which category does this band falls under?’ The sounds of different genres coming from the individuals can be picked up quite easily in the compositions but it was all put together to fit nicely. Would it do more good than harm, it all depends on the listener him/herself. But as for me, it was actually quite entertaining to contemplate the 5 songs, listening to them over and over, trying to figure out what belonged to which. Something else notable is the lyrics written for these compositions. ‘…Like thieves amidst these shadows, we tread this black and white divide.’ taken from the 2nd track, Self Deceit and Sacrifice. ‘…Illusions will leave them awake submerged, entwined in fears, in their own demise.’ And that, from Vanity. Although not all songs had their lyrics printed in full, they are still worth a read.

To put it all in a few sentences, it starts out with a bang and mellows down some before the curtains fall with a ‘thought provoking’ Guns ‘n’ Roses intro ballad (opinion stated with courtesy of scuzzybum). Below is a rough breakdown of what can be found in Nicotine Induced, solely in my own opinion.

1) Hourglass
Upbeat and with a very good introduction, the right song to put as track number one. Like they always say, first impressions count. The bass does a good job of keeping song ‘in beat’ when everything else dies down during the short bridge before chorus. And quite a number of effects from the guitar were played with and the composition for this particular is such that it keeps a listener to want to continue listening to the song ‘til the end, although I think they could have done better than to finish off with a lightly sustained peal of the cymbal.

2) Self Deceit or Sacrifice
Yet again, the song starts off with a special twist in the solo guitar. I especially liked the way the bridge was built up with the sounds of guitar brought in from the chorus, and then later on with 2 interwoven guitar solos (which reminded me a lot of Fugazi) before it ends with a ‘off key’ play of notes from one of the guitars. The previous mention of effort put into vocals can be heard quite clearly here. ‘…dampness on my skin diffuses warmth from the blood beneath it’. What to make out of the lyrics of this song? ‘…perplexed by suffocation, the mist is blinding out my sight tonight.’ it leaves me with a mix of emotions just as well. Full points for originality in the overall composition here.

3) Vanity
In this song, it struck me that the bassist frequently uses the ‘double notes in a single beat’ technique, probably played on power chords and Vanity is the 3rd consecutive song that harbours that technique. Perhaps it is just me being over particular about details, but I still think special techniques like the above mentioned should not be overused. Anyway, it starts off slow with a psychedelic feel in Vanity before speeding up a little with the help of the guitars. This would be the weakest song out of all 5, when compared to the fast start up in the first track. And it ends off with yet another light peal of the cymbal.

4) Obsession Turned Addiction
Vocals used to start the song here sounded like they can do with a little more ‘gusto’ in melody to better fit the rest of the composition. However, the guitar arrangements and bass lines in the chorus are more than impressive. A song like this will work wonders if performed live. After a few repeats of verse and chorus, the song breaks into yet another long series of repeats before it fades out in an abruptly subtle way. A positive or negative factor, you decide.

5) Forsaken
A song built entirely on guitars and vocals, a good choice of song to ‘close’ the EP with. ‘…Will this trinity be ever, you and I together? Ashes on the floor, a ballad written for.’ Utterly heart breaking lyrics always go well with such arrangements you can find in Forsaken, this is one song that is capable of being put on repeat mode on the player of any person who feels slightly less than joyful.
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