June 14, 2011 - Red Scare
The Holy Mess's self-titled compilation is a handy starter kit for prospective fans of the band. You get everything the Holy Mess have done thus far (2009's Dismount EP and last year's Benefit Sesh 7-inch), plus two new jams, rearranged to consider coherent flow and order but remaining a brisk and punchy listen throughout.
They may not meet the quality of their likely influences, but take the simpler, faster moments of the Lawrence Arms' catalog between Ghost Stories and Apathy And Exhaustion (the raspy spit-takes "Captain, We're Drinking!" and "It All Happened In A Ford Winstar [sic]"), sprinkle in some of the Menzingers' nimble guitar work ("Goodbye 3713 (Must've Been A Good One)") and Lars Frederiksen-led Rancid ("Crazy Horny"), and you have a solid release.
Now if the Holy Mess could just vary their tempos and tones more, get a few more original riffs and maybe try to veil the jabs somewhat (we can't imagine who "A Soulful Punk Tune About A Working Class Dreamer" could possibly refer to), they'd really be cooking. But this is both a handy way to check out how energetic the Holy Mess are and a bashing, brash start for the band themselves.