We’ve all had to suffer through the experience of being trucked out somewhere to see “my friend’s band.” For whatever reason, we agree to go, and before we know it we’re knocking back house specials as the band crosses the half-hour mark to set-up. When they finally go on, we sit back and smile politely as we wonder what the hell these people see in this band. When asked what we thought afterwards, most of us nearly have a small aneurysm deciding whether we say what we thought, or smile and lie our way through it. The Holy Mess, with their latest release Cande Ru Las Degas, condenses that experience in the form of a ten-song LP.
That’s not to say that The Holy Mess is devoid of hope. The rhythm section, as well as the guitarist, have all put in their time to get good at their craft. In fact, the start of each song seems to offer the hope that they’ll really let themselves off the chain. Their efforts, however, are tragically undercut when their singer enters the picture. Simultaneously channeling a gravelly Bruce Springsteen and every emo singer that’s come before him, their frontman brings an unneeded and unpleasant screamo, and at times christian hardcore, element to The Holy Mess’ sound. Though they seem to get it together for at least one song, “Asleep in a Room Full of Dog Shit,” they slip back into lazy recreations of early emo, petering out with a whimpering close with “All These Words.”
There’s something about the spirit of most of the members of The Holy Mess that makes us want to like them. Though their singer is definitely geared to be mass appealing, it’s that desire for recognition that hamstrings the band’s potential. Perhaps with a personnel change, the next release by The Holy Mess might make us sit up and really take notice of them.