The Holy Mess

Comfort In The Discord

Written by: PP on 09/09/2014 00:09:58

"Cande Ru Las Degas" was a decent sophomore album for The Holy Mess, but it did nonetheless feel like a let down from their self-titled debut album of 2011, which basically laid the band out as ones heavily inspired by The Lawrence Arms output. It was an album that saw them move slightly into their own direction to form a distinct identity, but it came at a cost of some of the raw aggression and energy of the debut. Third album "Comfort In The Discord" returns with a high-energy onslaught, and feels more raw than its predecessor, albeit with solid production values that ensure a driving, rhythmic tempo to their punk rock offering.

This time around, we're also integrating influence from Against Me!'s older material, as well as inspiration from Off With Their Heads and other no-frills punk rock bands. While not as monotonous in nature (by no means a bad thing, as OWTH records prove), The Holy Mess rely on a simple formula of rollicking tempo, rowdy vocals, and good choruses to drive their point home. Opener "It's All Fun And Games 'Til Someone Gets Heard" opens with aggressive screaming recalling early Against Me!'s anarcho punk material, but already on "Spencer Reid" we're back to upbeat punk rock with a catchy chorus melody. "Positive Noise" goes for a more subtle approach vocally, here again resembling The Lawrence Arms on their recent "Metropole" album or even some of the quieter tracks off "Apathy & Exhaustion". This has never been The Holy Mess' strong side, because the fast-paced, energetic punk rockers are far more interesting in comparison. Fortunately most songs replicate the more rowdy side of the band, with tracks like "Liza And Louisiana", "The Weight", and "For The Press" counting among highlights on the record. The latter even produces a solid woo-hoo gang melody, and you can pretty much never go wrong with that on a punk rock record.

Still, the band are facing some of the same problems as in the past. They're writing good songs that aren't decisively great, while sounding a great deal like other bands in the process. The grit and knack for an unforgettable chorus like in many places on their debut album is still lacking to an extent on the record, even if the collection of songs is good overall. But as is common with these sorts of bands, the songs come alive in a live environment, because of the enthusiasm and energy the band has to offer on top of their humorous performances. "The Weight" comes extremely close in replicating the high-energy vibe synonymous with a Holy Mess live performance, but the album is not consistent enough overall.


Download: Spencer Reid, The Weight, Liza And Louisiana, For The Press
For the fans of: Against Me!, The Menzingers, The Lawrence Arms, Off With Their heads
Listen: Bandcamp

Release date 29.07.2014

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