The Holy Mess

The Holy Mess

Written by: PP on 15/07/2011 05:11:44

The Lawrence Arms fans! I have some great news for you. No, they didn't just announce plans for a new album, but The Lawrence Arms tribute band The Holy Mess just released their debut full length, and it's every bit as good as we expected based on their solid EP "Benefit Sesh". So prepare for crazy-good shout-alongs, awesome energy, bright punk melodies and the usual fantastic stuff you equate with the orgcore sound. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a little bit, but that's what I do when I get excited. And there are plenty of reasons to be excited about The Holy Mess right now.

One of those reasons is "Crazy Horny", which might just be the best song I've heard in a looooong while from the Midwestern punk scene (even though these guys are from Philly). Yes, it copies The Lawrence Arms classics from start to finish, but it does so exceptionally well, and the chorus is so irresistibly catchy that it's impossible to ignore. Another one is the dual vocal dynamic that The Holy Mess uses extensively, which again takes its cue from the aforementioned band, where a raspy vocalist takes care of the shouting and screaming, and a cleaner vocalist provides some excellent melody contrast making for some unforgettable moments in songs (see: "You Say Party! We Say Where!?!" chorus, for instance). Moving on, the second half of the disc sees the band drop some of the happy-go-lucky Midwestern melody to dip into the waters of The Menzingers and older Against Me! material with heavier songs and more screaming, though it has to be noted that melody is still used in excess like in all releases of this kind. That's also why it's so hard to dislike an album like "The Holy Mess", because no matter what you think about the simplistic instrumentation, the music alone is so catchy in a genuine, honest way that it makes you sound like a douche if you claim it doesn't sound good.

The way to approach this record is this: the first half is instantly memorable because of how closely it follows the formula that made The Lawrence Arms such a huge success in the punk community, so start with that and rock out to the first five songs on repeat for a while. Then slowly work your way through the screamed songs of The Menzingers-kind which are growers due to the melody being a little more subtle and drenched underneath the heavier sound. Eventually you'll reach the same conclusion as me: "The Holy Mess" is a great punk album and one that's sure to make some year-end lists come December.


Download: Goodbye 3713 (Must've Been A Good One), You Say Party! We Say Where!?!, Crazy Horny
For the fans of: The Lawrence Arms, The Menzingers, older Against Me!, Latterman
Listen: Myspace

Release date 14.06.2011
Red Scare Records

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