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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Purusa – Soundtrack EP

With their name deriving from Hindu sacred texts that mean both soul and man, Purusa has been making music from Portland since late 1999. Combining elements of rock and roll, soul, blues and alternative, you get the four piece band Purusa. With the Soundtrack EP only consisting of 3 tracks, you really only get a taste of who Purusa is, but definitely want more after a few listens. Luckily this is their third studio album, so if need be, there’s more listening material just a few clicks away.

The opening song on the album called “Soundtrack” already shows the listener where this EP is headed. Sounding very reminiscent of The Fray and Kings of Leon, Purusa provides lots of reverberated guitar, light smooth vocals, and very airy swells that carry throughout the track. The second track “Fall Behind” has similar aspects to the first song, but takes a different stylistic approach, almost sounding like a mixture of Band of Horses and The Black Keys. It’s a very blues/rock and roll inspired track, and you can really feel the grittiness in it. The chemistry between the band can really be heard throughout the entire EP, and it’s easily distinguishable that they work extremely well together.

To most, a three track EP is just an appetizer, and will not satisfy the hunger for good new music, but Purusa demonstrates that they have what it takes to make a good project, and listening to their past work, they show just what they have in store for the future. With their last full length album released a few years ago, hopefully they will continue to grow and develop as a group and release a full length project in the near future. Definitely a band to keep an eye out for.

By: Terren Husges

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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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