I’m a rock chick. I have the tattoos, the dark side, and the psychedelic hair. Well, okay, perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration. I have purple braids in my crimson dreads, two frighteningly mushy tattoos (you know the drill; spiders and love-hearts and roses and tears and stuff), and a brother who thinks I’m goth because I’m melancholic and moody.
I’m not what you’d call a typical rocker. I don’t enjoy live concerts, I never mosh in public, I don’t use black make-up, and I have never ripped new jeans just because. I like the sound of emo because it speaks to my soul, and I like soft, alternative, punk rock. The ones who know better than me spend hours discussing the essence of acoustic indie music (or lack thereof), but I just bop my head, bang air drums, and rock on to sweet air guitar. For me, ‘alternative’ isn’t a genre, a statement, or a lifestyle. It’s a generic description of the kind of songs I like.
I’m a huge fan of internet radio, and my favourite station is Alternative Addiction. I’ve discovered a lot of my favourite bands there. A few weeks ago, I bumped into April Showers by The Mess. So I did what I always do when I find a song I like – I hit Google. Turns out they’re not a new band – they’ve been around since 2009 and have three albums. I checked out their Facebook and Twitter pages before ending up on YouTube.
I love the way this band sounds. They remind me of the late 90s and early 2000s, which is my favourite musical era. Their music blends the standard guitar and drums with unusual instrumental flavours that are probably electronic. They also have that Canadian-Rocker sound that I like so much, so I was surprised that they come from California. I’ve listened to almost 30 of their songs, and I love almost all of them, which is saying a lot. Their songs range between irrepressibly catchy and hauntingly deep.
My only complaint is that a few of their songs are too literal and wordy for rock. I mean, I love poetry, and I can understand an artiste wanting their music to have substance, but some songs have so much scope that there’s barely a chorus to latch on to. Ideally, rock should be ridiculously quirky or cryptically intense, preferably both. Think Swallowed in the sea by ColdPlay, Inside Out by Eve 6, or Pinch me by Bare Naked Ladies. Fortunately (for The Mess), the musicality of songs like I had you at goodbye keep me listening even when the lyrics sometimes tempt my mind to stray.
I love that this band seems so ‘normal’. Their photos, the messages on their social media pages, and even their marketting strategy portrays them seem as ordinary kids just trying to catch a dream. I love the simplicity in the April showers video. No crazy clothes, naked chicks, emo make-up, or over-the-top theatrics – just a group of very talented guys having a lot of fun. They have this geek-sheikh thing going, and everybody knows how much I love my nerds. The Mess seems personable, authentic, and human, the kind of guys I’d love to hang out with. They seem like genuinely nice guys, and I like genuinely nice guys.
When I first found the band, I thought they were green, fresh on the scene, untouched by ‘hollywood’ and ‘fame’. But their sound was very refined. They didn’t sound like the amateur garage band they appear to be. Their Facebook page describes their music as ‘a blend of electronica and hard rock, honest, open, and always sentimental’. The band members are lead vocalist Mike Gross, Josh Bonaparte on bass, Brandon Lowe on guitar, Ryan Miles on lead guitar, and David Adametz on drums. Their Facebook page says they’re signed to Six Gun Recordings, which explains their polished sound. I love their name because, well, neatness makes me nervous, and I quite like their hair. Hopefully I’ll hear a lot more music from these guys, and who knows, maybe we might get the chance to kick back, chill out, and eat ice cream sometime.
♫ November ♫ The Mess ♫