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Album Review: The Holy Mess - Benefit Sesh 7”

The Holy Mess are back, and this time its beneficial! Well, at least the title of their new 7” suggests it is. Leaving the motives for this release aside, 'Benefit Sesh', is the sound of this Philadelphia four-piece picking up where they left off after last year’s awesome ‘Dismount’. For those who aren’t so on top of their relatively unknown punk bands, The Holy Mess play punk music of the gruffer variety in the vein of Banner Pilot and The Menzingers.

Benefit Sesh kicks off with the extremely catchy ‘Goodbye 3713’ which at the start is musically reminiscent of ‘…Zach And Cody?’ by Spraynard. It soon becomes its own entity when the dual vocals kick in. Both vocalists have the trademark rasp, but in comparison to Brendan Kelly for example, they are relatively clean. There are moments on ‘Goodbye 3713’ (and the rest of the EP for that matter) where if you could somehow mute the instrumentation, you could swear it was Chris Wollard singing. That said none of these tracks sound like Hot Water Music or The Draft, the songs are much more instantly gratifying than that. ‘Goodbye 3713’ provides the EP’s most catchy refrain, and this tale of life on the beer will stick in your head for weeks.

The pace picks up on ‘A Soulful Punk Tune About A Working Class Dreamer’. Think Dillinger Four fronted by Chris Wollard and your close to the sound of this track, and whereas some bands in this genre sacrifice melody for speed, The Holy Mess miraculously juggle both.

The standout track off the EP is the one that is only available as a digital download, the awesomely titled; ‘I Think Cordrouy Is Making A Comeback’. This track is one of those songs that sounds inanely positive at first listen, but when you start to unpack the lyrics you discover a depp-rooted melancholy. It doesn’t have the pace of ‘A Soulful Punk Tune About A Working Class Dreamer’, nor does it have the hooks of ‘Goodbye 3713’, but what ‘…Cordrouy..’ lacks in these departments it makes up for in pure emotion.

'Benefit Sesh' is a great introduction to a great band, that unfortunately have very little recorded output. However like a fine wine, you have to savour what’s available, and what’s available is very good. The songs on Benefit Sesh are better than those that appear on ‘Dismount’, which for a fan of the latter is a big statement. So download ‘Dismount’, buy this 7” and we can all wait together in eager anticipation for a full length.


'Benefit Sesh 7”' by The Holy Mess is available now on Evil Weevil.

The Holy Mess on MySpace

Dan Issitt

Alter The Press!