“Keep me around as a reminder. Tie me around your little finger. So you won’t forget the ones you left behind when you change your mind.”
If genres were weather then pop-punk meets emo band Such A Mess would be a California thunderstorm. The Los Angeles band’s new EP Stay Right Where You Are stays true to their DIY ethos while giving them the freedom to explore darker sounds and subjects. Each track has standout lines that may leave you feeling like you’re imposing on something too private—overhearing a rehearsed confession of either love or loss.
“Noah’s Arcade” begins the record with proof that two is better than one: the dual vocals keep your attention and the guitar works with the drums to create a compelling rhythm. It’s a song that builds but actually goes somewhere, showing the band’s growth in both songwriting and self-discovery. Clocking in at 4 minutes and 45 seconds, it seem absolutely necessary to finally come to terms with the resolution “As long as you’re happy I’ll stay out of the way”. Lyrically the album explores all the complexities of relationships—and while the pain or pleasure may be personal, the feelings are universal. “Better Weather” exemplifies the group’s thoughtful use of instrumentals, constantly changing the pace and noise level so you feel like you’re experiencing a mix of emotions. Possibly the most heart-rending lyrics on the album happen here: “I don’t need another friend, you know that I have enough of them… Need something less temporary”.
Stay Right Where You Are really has a song for everybody, whether you prefer pop punk or acoustic, are romantic or cynical. We often are speechless trying to describe our own feelings but I bet if you listen to the record all the way through you’ll find at least one track you identity with. In just five songs Such A Mess display that they are still growing as a band; that they aren’t afraid to be vulnerable and stray from their comfort zone. They have played basements and backyards, Warped and stacked tours, but they put the same passion into every performance and release—with this one being no exception.
Buy It, Stream It, or Skip It? Buy it! This record has a song for whatever mood you may find yourself, whether you want to escape in impressive instrumental work or get introspective with the help of provoking lyrics.