Category Reviews

Such A Mess – Stay Right Where You Are

Based out of Los Angeles, Such a Mess started creating punk/emo jams in 2010. Since then, they have perfected the pop punk sound with their latest album “Stay Right Where You Are”.  The 5-track masterpiece starts with “Noah’s Arcade”, a personal favorite, which is composed of a catchy guitar riff, fast drumbeats, and lastly, a passionate vocalist. “25 and barely alive” is a feeling that most of us can say we have related to at some point of our young adolescence. For me, that is what makes “Stay Right Where You Are” appealing; it’s relatable and says the things you think but never say.

Such A Mess gives the listener honest, blunt lyrics tackling issues such as self-doubt/self hate and longing for a lover’s attention. Musically, Such a Mess balances the beauty of higher pitched vocals with the hard, chaotic rock vibes of the instruments. I was fortunate enough to see them preform live here in town at the 1078 Gallery. The passion (and sweat) portrayed by each member shows both live and recorded. For lack of a better word, they were badass. Self-reflection is a journey that the listener experiences from start to finish within the 2000’s punk style collection.

In addition, multiple lyric references to “ringing ears” throughout the album display the constant presence of a missed ex lover and also show track interconnection and an overarching theme of permanence. The album concludes with “20/20”, which I can best describe as the bread and butter of pop punk. This is an acoustic song (the only one on this particular album) that is composed of an emotional soft melody that makes every girl swoon. As a past lover for scene groups such as All Time Low and A Day To Remember, I can say this song takes you back for a pleasant stop to that time in your musical taste.  The song focuses on the desire for a past lover and acceptance that “it’s ok, I’ll get you next time”. If you vibe to bands like Neck Deep or Real Friends, Such A Mess is for you. Lets face it life sucks sometimes and you want to get all up in your feels; this album is for those moments.

By: Elizabeth Face

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Run The Jewels 3

Run the Jewels, a hip-hop duo consisting of El-P and Killer Mike, returns with force in RTJ3. With complex melodies, a heavy bassline, and lightning-fast wordplay the two have once again created a masterpiece full of emotion and witticisms. Included in their fourteen-track album are the singles “Talk to Me,” “2100,” and “Legend Has It;” all of which were critically acclaimed.

There are many more gems in the album than just the three singles. The opening song “Down (feat. Joi)” has Killer Mike referencing his political activism and how he sees his music as an influential beacon while El-P follows with his message of staying true and staying strong. Catchy bass lines dominate the song with quick wordplay from both members.

Further into the album is their single “2100,” an ode to political revolution in a time of turmoil. El-P leads stating he is still young and hopeful at heart but the world is constantly trying to take that away from him. Following is Killer Mike with the state of the political world and how restless and corrupt it has become. He later goes on to tell of his distrust of this system but, with his friend and partner El-P, “You defeat the devil when you hold onto hope.”

The final song on the Album is a two-part song: “A Report to Shareholders: Kill your Masters” featuring Zack de la Rocha, lead vocalist of Rage Against the Machine. The first part, “A Report to Shareholders,” expresses the feeling of living in a rut that no one ever tries to escape. El-P states how what started as a fun side project between him and Killer Mike has morphed into a platform where they can communicate the truth and love around the world. Afterwards Killer Mike starts part two of the song: “Kill your Masters.” He explains how he doesn’t want to live in a corrupt and selfish society and wants to be the change he wants to see. Lastly, de la Rocha features expressing how the nation will make it through this turmoil and this album – and the message contained in and behind it – will be the end of the “masters.”

El-P and Killer Mike once again create a masterpiece in their third studio album RTJ3. With emotional and influential lyrics that mirror the state of the world on top of driving rhythms and rumbling basslines, this tour de force can have anyone rallying behind its music and message.

By: Seann Romero

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There you Go – Cost of Attrition

The opener to There You Go, “Not Your Psycho,” features intertwining genres of metal and pop with a catchy chorus where “people think I’m psycho.” These lyrics of escaping the perception of others and trying to sprout into your own is a great starting point for a band that breaks musical barriers and creates their own sound. The following song “Oh Yeah” has more of a pop sound, reminiscent of 90’s alternative rock. It still has elements of metal but takes on a more romantic view with Wheeler singing “Hey now ain’t that love.”

The third and final track is the album-titled “There You Go,” featuring a driving rhythm coupled with plucking guitar. Later on, the added electric guitar emphasizes the story being told: A woman holding a hostage with a shotgun. What really stands out is the way the music is able to play off your expectations; the love the singer feels is relatable to being taken hostage and is able to provide a narrative around that.

Instrumentalist Joshua Grow and singer Wheeler Castenada are able to blend different influential genres together to synthesize a new and amazing sound. To get the full experience of the album There You Go one would have to listen to it live; something that can be done as Cost of Attrition tours all over the eastern United States playing at festivals, bars, and everything in between.

By: Seann Romero

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