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Mess Anger - "Black House Mess" (CD)

Mess Anger - "Black House Mess" CD cover image

"Black House Mess" track listing:

1. C.O.P.S. (3:52)
2. What're You Lookin' For? (3:01)
3. My Voodoo Doll (4:41)
4. Run N' Fly (2:51)
5. Angry Little Angel (3:22)
6. Children Of The Night (3:53)
7. Sympathy For The Devil (4:39)
8. It's Hard (3:28)
9. 2 2 69 (2:07)
10. I'm A Mess (3:32)

Reviewed by on January 30, 2009

"with vampire goth lyrics, guitar centered rhythms, and decidedly garage band sound, Mess Anger offers a little bit for everyone."

Mess Anger’s debut album “Black House Mess” is a testament to lead singer Mess Anger’s adoration for Alice Cooper. His vocals throughout the album sound much like the 70’s and 80’s icon, though there is a heavy dose of punk added to the mix as well.

Mess Anger emulates Cooper in tracks like “What’re You Lookin’ For,” “Children of the Night,” and the opening of “Run N’ Fly.” But with vampire goth lyrics, guitar centered rhythms, and decidedly garage band sound, Mess Anger offers a little bit for everyone.

A guitar that creates a rhythm of its own is present in “Run N’ Fly,” though the track overall sports an early Green Day sound. A fabulous guitar solo can also be found in “Children of the Night,” with its Slash-like opening strings.

A retro-metal sound that rivals the likes of AC/DC is the focus of “Sympathy For The Devil” and “I’m A Mess.” Both of these tracks offer a 70’s classic metal sound with a hint of funk and southern rock. Drum enthusiasts will favor “2 2 69,” with its ultra-fast rhythm, though the vocals in this piece are about an octave too high.

“Angry Little Angel,” with its lighter, radio friendly hard rock sound, has already been released to radio and video, but chances are the rest of the album will stay underground. That’s because the overall sound of this album is decidedly punk.

With the exception of “It’s Hard,” which features a rhythm very close to the classic tune “I Wanna Be Sedated,” the rest of the tracks are of the distorted vocals, heavy on the guitar variety. The sound recording even has the poor acoustic, cinder block walls club feel to it, which is particularly obvious in “C.O.P.S.” and “My Voodoo Doll.”

With his Marilyn Manson makeup and dark goth lyrics, Mess Anger appeals to the underground audience that made punk a lifestyle. But his guitar-focused instrumentals and affinity for late 1970’s metal icons, add another dimension to this eccentric artist that makes him intriguing to retro metal and hard rock fans as well.

Highs: A killer guitar in “Children of the Night,” and an addictive chorus in “I’m A Mess.”

Lows: Vocals in “2 2 69” are too high.

Bottom line: A mixed bag with eclectic but widespread appeal.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)