BIG MESS: I Am American: CD

I was fully prepared to hate this. With its glossy digipack cover featuring an American flag guitar, logo pulled directly from one of the free font websites, and the sticker proclaiming “Winner Indie Music Channel Awards 2017: Best Alternative Band.” You can imagine how surprised I was when I put the disc in and… Nope, I really fucking hate this. Super polished mid- to late-’90s style alterna-rock with vocals that remind me of the DJ at a seedy strip bar. The members of Big Mess cut their teeth in an early ‘80s L.A. punk band called Easter (that apparently, Mike Ness was in at some point) and, I shit you not, the fucking Doobie Brothers!? Most of the songs here are clocking in at three, four, and even five minutes long, with the shortest being a Ramones cover. I just don’t have the attention span. In the end, I did like the riffs on a couple of songs, but those ones came off more like a less fun Gas Huffer, at best. –Ty Stranglehold (Lord Cash Pockets)