Thursday, June 30, 2011

Music Reviews: About The Mess - "Give Me The Mic, I'm Drunk Already: Live At Double Door 6/3/11"

Every town has a local underground music scene. Be it rock, metal, country, hip hop or punk, a band will sprout up everyday. And Chicago is no different. And a lot of the time there is one or two bands that MAKE that scene shine. Give our little scene hope that something good will come out of our town. Maybe be the next big thing.

Then there are the bands that take so much, musically, from those one or two big local bands, that they lose their own identity in the process. We've all seen it happen a million times. But every few years a new band comes out of the shadows and just makes it all worth while again. A band that's head and shoulders above the rest. Well, that time is now in Chicago! And that band is About The Mess!

Formed earlier this year by four 30-something musicians who have been kicking around trying to find their place without sounding like everyone else. And with their 4 song live debut EP, "Give Me The Mic, I'm Drunk Already" recorded at Double Door in Chicago, they show that you can get up there, be yourself and make something special happen.

The band is tight on songs like album opener "Ahab" and "Fourteen". The music is well written and well versed. They don't sound like a new band either. ATM sound like they've been playing for years, which will surprise you when you find out this was only the bands 4th show together! Singer/guitarist Joe Mizzi has a vocal styling and sound all his own. Mizzi and guitarist Mike Carlson have a twin guitar attack that complement each others playing without trying to outdo one another. And the rhythm section of bassist Jack Dee and drummer Mark "Gus" Gustafson bring it all home with solid timing.

The bands cover of "The Letter" (available as a free bonus track only if you purchase the whole EP on iTunes) by Alex Chilton's old band the Box Tops is just fantastic. They take an already great song and modernize it with heavy guitars and a kick ass back beat that would make the late Chilton proud.

This is a band with nothing to prove, but everything to gain. They have a no nonsense style and attitude that is sorely missing from the Chicago punk scene. They don't care if they become the next Green Day. They don't wanna be a fashion statement. They play great music! Plain and simple. If you let the music do the talking, people WILL listen! And this reporter is all ears.

4 ½ / 5 Stars

About The Mess will be playing the following shows.

Tonight (6/30) at The Elbo Room (2871 N. Lincoln Ave Chicago) with Reason One, Victor Shores and Tiny Moving Part.

Friday, July 22 at Cobra Lounge (235 N. Ashland Ave. Chicago) with The Infected.

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