The Electric Mess hail from New York City and embrace the ethos of honest, in your face Rock ‘n’ Roll. This isn’t a revival – this is music that could have been recorded at any point in the last 45 years or so. The band describes lead singer Esther Crow as “androgynous and dynamic” which is an apt description for her unique affectations. The band also features Dan Crow on lead guitar, Derek Davidson on bass & vocals, Craig Rogers on drums, and Oweinama Biu on keyboards & rhythm guitar. Garage punk mixed with a bit of The Doors? Think along those lines, and you might be getting warm.
House on Fire is the 3rd record from The Electric Mess, following 2010’s self titled debut and 2012’s Falling Off the Face of the Earth. Melodic anthems sit alongside noisy freak outs comfortably. The 1st few songs come roaring out of the speakers, white noise & angst. After that aural assault, the record settles into a groove, balancing slightly slower jams with the faster rave-ups. Roller-rink organ sounds give it that authentic vibe – sounding like something straight out of the late 60’s from Question Mark and the Mysterians. A consolidation of the strengths the band displayed on their 1st two releases, this is the strongest offering yet from The Electric Mess.
Better To Be Lucky Than Good is a perfect opening track for the album, dirty guitars & slithering vocals. The music builds for a minute before reaching the punky, explosive chorus. As a statement of intent, this is song works very well. She Got Fangs feels like a lost outtake from The Doors – and I mean that in the best possible way. Slower in tempo than the opening trio of tunes, this song has an undeniable groove. “Evil woman doing evil deeds” was a line that stuck with me. Leavin’ Me Hangin’ picks up the pace quite a bit, sounding like it owes a debt to The Sonics out of Tacoma, WA. Esther Crow’s screams on this tune are incredible. An R&B garage rock rave up, perfected. There’s Nothing You Can Do is a melodic slice of melancholy, sounding inspired by the girl groups of the 60’s by way of 70’s power pop. A late album highlight. Every Girl Deserves A Song closes the album on a noisy high note. Abrasive guitar solos take up the 1st minute or so before shifting into a sing-a-long anthem that splits the difference between punk & power pop.
You can get the digital copy of the record from all the usual suspects, or pick up a physical copy from the band’s website here. You can also keep up with their activities by “liking” their page on The Social Network. I know that this is a band I’ll be keeping my eye on in the future – I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Verdict: Garage Rock Classic
For Fans of: The White Stripes, The Sonics, Mudhoney, The Doors, Question Mark and the Mysterians, Dead Moon
- Better to Be Lucky Than Good
- House on Fire
- She’s Got Something to Say
- She Got Fangs
- Get Me Outta the Country
- Beat Skipping Heart
- Leavin’ Me Hangin’
- Lemonade Man
- There’s Nothing You Can Do
- The Thing That Wouldn’t Leave
- Winding Stairs
- You Never Come Around Anymore
- Every Girl Deserves A Song