Half Life by IZZRelease date: July 28, 2020
Label: Doone Records
After the release of their latest album, Don’t Panic released last year, IZZ have now unleashed a new 20-minute EP called Half Life. Released on the Doone Records label, Half Life details a different direction to their sound by showing an alternate direction that the band want to delve into. While they are loyal to their fans which is very similar to what Rush had done, it’s always great to see where the next chapter leads for IZZ.
It contains three new songs and a live performance of ‘The Wait of It All’ from CalProg which was originally released on their 2004 EP, Ampersand Volume 1. As Lawrence Tierney’s character Joe Cabot from Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs would say, “All right ramblers, let’s get ramblin’.”
‘The Soul of Music’ starts the EP off with a piano concerto as the mellotron comes into light as the drums go into this hyper-speed sequence followed by John Galgano’s bass in the same steps. The purpose behind the song is that while 2020 is going to be a rough year for us, music will always need a friend. No matter what happens, the music will always be there.
Bremner’s guitar goes into outer space before Tom has his keyboards by making it hay-wiring before making nightmarish by setting course into this dystopian landscape for the bells to toll. The last few seconds sees IZZ channeling Genesis A Trick of the Tail-era before coming to a complete halt.
‘Into the Sun’ is IZZ’s answer for a romantic waltz with an acoustic texture. They show the beauty by adding some intense steps to the groove thanks to John’s bass which I believe it could be a Rickenbacker. And then, the Galgano brothers go into this dueling match between Bass and Keyboards with a dosage to make it sound very flamenco-sque for the last minute of the song.
The title-track details the troubling scenarios on what the characterizations of what we go through which is the aftermath of losing someone. The song has some ‘80s pop and arena rock vibes that is part Simple Minds, part Talk Talk, and part Starcastle while the live recording of ‘The Wait of it All’, makes you close your eyes and being at the Center Theater in Whitter, California on I believe its from July 3, 2004. This version of the song, knocks the studio version right out of the ball park. You can tell that IZZ’s chemistry at the venue shows a lot of support for their fans at the venue. Their instruments and vocalizations channel the sections of Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso’s Darwin-era as the band tip their hat towards the Rock Progressivo Italiano scene.
Half Life is the next step from IZZ. While I am a latecomer to their music, either 2018 or 2019, their EP shows the band aren’t slowing down. While they’re working on their next full-length album hopefully to be completed next year, IZZ have kept their trains chugging for more adventures that await us beyond the horizon.