After several EPs and a 7-inch, the Holy Mess have finally put together a full-length’s worth of haphazardous punk rock in the form of Cande Ru Las Degas. Out now on Red Scare, vocalist/bassist Steveo Niemoczynski gave a rundown of each song, including the always changing circumstances life throws at you and a story about dog shit.

"My Boring ’90s"

This song is basically the introduction to the second song on the album, "Within The Range Of A Raven." Both deal with being in the process of coming to terms with the breakdown of a relationship. Lyrically, I feel like this is the more general of the two songs. Was it a good idea to put an acoustic song first on the record? Only time will tell. If you read the lyrics and listen closely, this song is pretty much the thesis statement of "Cande Ru Las Degas"

"Within The Range Of A Raven"

Keith Yosco (drums) always makes weird drunken statements, puts them in his phone, and whips 'em out later when we need song titles. As I was drinking Old Crow on the rocks that particular evening, I made some joke about singing like a crow or sounding like Ben Nichols or something. He later manipulated that into this song title and gave me a far-out, fireside-type chat about the mysticism surrounding ravens themselves. A raven is known to be an omen of death amongst many other things. The fact that the subject matter met in the middle of the road with this song title is on some clairvoyant shit that none of us could have expected.

"The Saddest Girl To Ever Hold A Martini"

Vanilla Sky reference? Yeah. Tom Cruise is a weirdo. I wrote this song right when I got back from Fest 10 to an empty house. No power, no job, no wife. Pretty much fucked. I love this song. One of the first times I didn't hide behind metaphors.

"Cold Goodbyes"

This song is a comparison piece that contrasts the trials and tribulations of myself and my friends as we moved from a small town to a big city. We were thinking it would bring big changes. The reality is that there really wasn't much of a difference, although the city is way better and has much more opportunity to grow as people. The age old question: Is the grass greener?

"A Song For Tim Browne To Sing"

Throughout our travels, we met Tim Browne and his band Elway. They are the raddest dudes and quickly became some of our best friends. Yosco came up with the initial chords and structure for the song, and when it came time to add my 4 cents, I decided to write lyrics describing our collective plight as broke musicians. It seemed only natural at that point to send him a demo and hopefully bring Tim into the studio during recording to sing on the bridge. The only problem was we extended the bridge longer than the demo we had sent him, thus spawning the lyric "we will burn forever."


It was FEST 8. I don't remember much, but I know that myself and my friends Jon, and "The Dans," better known as Redbeard and Blackbeard respectively, had missed Samiam due to my excessive partying and not taking care of myself. Sunday morning I'm laid out in a parking lot across from the venue with heart palpitations and trouble breathing. I passed out in the Menzingers’ van and later, upon rousing, asked Greg to take me to the hospital. I hate hospitals. I'm not religious, but that day I was.

"Asleep In A Room Full Of Dog Shit"

Let us rewind for a second back to the fall of 2007 and place yourself at the Pink Palace house venue in Savannah, Georgia during the night that the Menzingers/Holy Mess "Chillin' the Most" tour came to town. After one of the most debauched evenings in either bands career, one requires a place to bed down. There was only one option: a room full of dog shit. (Neither band slept in that room. I mean, I know we didn't.) That become a metaphor for something: this song.

"Half That and Dublin!"

I suppose the reader by now has inferred that the forlorn descriptions of the first few songs have given way to full fledged stream of conscience narrative. It is here that I ask myself, "What is left of me?"

"Weren't No Fun"

Once upon a time we had a friend named PRS. He really fucked up. Bad. Like prison for life bad. We wrote this song for him. Not by any stretch of the imagination is this a tribute, but more of a reminder that people's lives are fragile and by no means should you ever lose yourself in the party. This bridge is as close to Cap'n Jazz as we'll ever get, for sure.

"All Those Words"

The big finish. This song is sonic proof that the Holy Mess is, in fact, growing up. Scott only plays one single note at a time for the whole song. I like the tempo of this song a lot. We tried it live and it didn't work. Maybe next year we'll try it again. Lyrics? Shit is over and I'm moving on. Well, actually, as I write this, it's quite some time later so I've moved on. Small side note: I totally bit a Matt & Kim melody for the "whoa" part in the bridge. I love Matt & Kim. I'm the only one in the band to admit it.