REVIEW - Chris Mess - 'In Every Disaster' (EP)
Another offering from the currently vibrant glam underground, this time the new release from Seattle's Chris Mess, with their first EP in a while; 'In Every Disaster' proves to be a fun and enjoyable release in every sense. The songs are catchy, broach the gap between the classic glam and retro sounds of the early 70s and the rocky indie moves of today, and have an energetic vibe to them with touches of Cheap Trick, early Queen, The Darkness and of course, Bowie scattered through this short and sweet (sorry!) record.
Kicking off with two rollicking tracks in 'Blink' and 'Disaster', the band immediately show off their strengths - the tight (yet groovesome) rhythms of bassist Stephen Page and drummer Andy Olsen, the nimble lead guitar work of Brooks Clark mixed with chunky, hooky riffs and the charismatic vocals of Chris Niccoli - on songs that are energetic, full of hooks and make a great 1-2 opening punch to the EP. Things are then slowed for 'Requiem', a stately, touching 'farewell to a fallen glamster' with some fine dual guitarwork from Clark, and Niccoli in particularly good form. It's a great track - my favourite on the EP - and opens up another side to the band with their ability to handle an affecting ballad. It's back to business as usual with their version of Bowie's 'Queen Bitch' that doesn't stray too far from the original (no bad thing) but does have a nice drop-down in the final verse before building up into a familiar chorus - get your 'bipperty-bop' hats on for this one! Final track (bar a thirteen second jingle thing at the end) is single 'No Good', full of power-pop goodness, its twisting verses building up towards the song's great choruses and the band's Cheap Trick influences much in evidence.
'In Every Disaster' is a fine EP, which grooves and struts in Bolanesque fashion across its five tracks, suffused with great playing and singing and well-written songs. With summer just around the corner, this is a perfect EP to go with hot, sunny days and neon-lit summer nights, and fans of power-pop and glam would do well to give this an airing. Buy with confidence!
'In Every Disaster' is available now on all the major digital streaming sites and the Chris Mess bandcamp page -www.chrismess.bandcamp.com