Morning Metal: Mosely – “With Pencils In Hand” (Album Review)



Mosely – “With Pencils in Hand”

Released – January, 2013

At the beginning of last year, the Ottawa based alternative rock band Mosely released their second EP release “With Pencils in Hand” independently through their own record label, House of Fish Productions. After releasing the EP, Mosely went on a 4 month tour with the non-profit organization, Live Different where they promoted both the album and the organization’s message.

The band has been in the Ottawa scene for many years ranging from Your Portrait Here, a post-hardcore sound in Not Even Death to their now alternative rock sound in Mosely. The EP features 6 tracks drawing influence from old punk rock bands like Green Day and Blink 182.

“With Pencils in Hand” opens up with “Don’t You Dare”, a Holiday-esque toned rocker that has lyrics connecting to the listeners with “We meet a lot of people, every day and every town, but we never stick around.” The song itself describes the band not forgetting their fans and supporters. “Don’t You Dare” is a mellow rock song that you could drive around town jamming. Excellent quality production, superb vocals and the instrumentals are memorable for this song.

Mosely is all about support, with the aforementioned 4 month tour. I had the pleasure of interviewing the band a few weeks ago and they were quite possibly the nicest people I have met.

The next track, “Make History” opens with the same style barrage of chords which evolves into the melodic verse. Former guitarist Tom Bagler executed these tracks with ease, providing the life line for this one. The lyrical content is very inspiring with “We just gotta work harder to make them see that we’re going down in history.” I can hear so much Simple Plan in this song, it’s awesome. While the scene isn’t as big as it used to be, the punk rock audience would bow down to these guys.

“Throwback” opens with a tasty bass lick performed by Mat Vezina that is so clean you could eat dirt off of it. Dani Poisson, the bands vocalist, chimes in with her gorgeous melodies that she is so notorious for, adding a completely new dimension to the EP’s middle track. Have no fear though; they keep you on your feet when it speeds up for the chorus. The ending of this song is easily my favourite part of this one when it gets heavy. Tom’s guitar riff is hard rock influenced while the thunder drums delivered by Mike Poisson just continue. “Throwback” serves as my highlight of this EP, I love this song.

“Let Me Be Me” has the coolest introduction to a song I’ve heard in long time. Drum tapping followed by a monster bass walk could make you head bop even if you don’t like punk rock. The guitar work for the chorus are awesome for pull offs. “If you have to tear me down to build your self esteem – maybe you should just be you, and let me be me.” Yes. The ultimate “go screw yourself” to every bully from high school or person who has tried to convert them to be something different. Lyric wise for the EP, I could listen to this for hours.

“Circles” serves as one of two mellow songs on the EP – opening with a chord progression behind Dani’s beautiful voice. Honestly, the punk rock serves her voice so much better. The lyrics also feature the EP’s title, “With pencils in hand, we’re drawing our circles around these blank pages.” The band actually did an acoustic cover which suits the song a lot better, but nevertheless – the song is a rocker.

The final track on the album, “Letdown”, follows “Circles” perfectly. It keeps the mood going with a mellow lullaby. In an interview with Mosely, Dani Poisson revealed;

 “It’s basically about going through something where you’re in a fight with someone who you’re really close with and they’re not really communicating to you what is wrong.”

– Dani Poisson on “Letdown”

The overall direction of this song is completely different from the rest of the album – taking a more personal and organic connection. The bass drives the song, teaming perfectly with the guitars and the beautifully produced drums – all tied up nice and presented to you in a gold box with Dani’s vocals.

Having only heard a few songs off the EP and only remembering the post-hardcore sound in Not Even Death, Mosely has pleasantly surprised my eardrums – and for someone who is mainly in the metal scene, I consider this a masterpiece for the Ottawa scene.

Mosely are currently working on their 3rd studio release, with the band claiming to be writing “meticulously”. That can only mean one thing… New songs soon! Hopefully. Please?

Mosely –

Stream “With Pencils in Hand” –

Listen to my interview with them –

James Rockso – 2014 – CKCU 93.1 FM/CHUO 89.1 FM

Morning Metal –