PEER PRECIOUS: Bless This Mess: LP

Think Fifteen, Crimpshrine, J.Church. Think of people swarming over the band as they play, crawling over frothy waves of shaken beer to grab the mic. But as the guy whose seen the bands they’re influenced by (perhaps knowingly or unknowingly), I hope for the following. 1.) That they would let the songs breathe. It’s a lesson to be learned from the Carrie Nations’ Be Still. Because if someone new to the band isn’t rapt in the content of the lyrics, most of the songs, well, they really blend into one another into a solid chunk. “Roomies” is in the right direction with the long instrumental part before the same-singing-voice-mid-tempo-of-most-of-the-record sound that follows. 2.) Really learn your songs before recording them. I’m, by no means, an audiophile or looking for pro-dudes, but there are several songs that sound unintentionally shaky and falling-out-of-tune (which is fine live, but vinyl’s as close to “forever” as I can conceive). The charm of DIY punk is that—although rough—its intention is crystal clear. (Think cutoff shorts. The edges—no matter how raggedy-assed—don’t matter half as much as the length.) 3.) The good and bad news is that the most instantly memorable song on the record is a Crimpshrine cover. The definite upside is that there’s a ton of room for improvement and there are flashes of much stronger music possible at their fingertips. Shit, man. Sorry I’m not a cheerleader on this one; it’s just that I’ve seen variations of this band hundreds of times over the past twenty years. And they’re the band that’s opening up for the band I’m waiting to see.

 –todd (Anti-Civ, [email protected] / Dirt Cult)