Mess Under Attack LP

Unless you’ve been sat under a relatively soundproof rock for the past few years, you’ve already heard of MESS by now; hot off the heels of two unbelievably good 12”s, a split with fellow bruisers the CHISEL, and now their first full-length has dropped into the eager hands of yours truly and all other discerning herbets. This is sheer, unabashed BLITZ-worship, and I love it. From the opener “Stay Strong,” a driving anthemic instrumental which is so indebted to ROSE OF VICTORY that Nidge and Mackie wouldn’t be called mad asking for royalties, this record is packed to the rafters with nostalgia-inducing tunes to spill your beer to. It’s a love letter to mid-tempo UK82, but with enough nous to make it sound fresh in ’24. Marble-gargling vocals, hooks and guitar tone redolent of anything off No Future. Genuinely as near to perfect as can be, vital.

Mess Traidores / Excuses 7″

Here are two more crackers from MESS, one of the best to do it in the current crop of Oi! bands gaining popularity. Both sides of this 7” scratch the itch, with “Traidores” and “Excuses” straddling the line of first-wave ’70s punk and classic UK82 and Oi!, influenced by the usual suspects (BUSINESS, BLITZ, 4-SKINS). Throw this on with a beer or spliff for a solid Saturday night.

The Chisel / Mess split EP

The sound of the new wave of Oi!—the CHISEL and MESS are leaders of the pack, and this is a perfect snapshot of some of the best of what this genre has to offer. MESS fares excellently on their side with “Don’t Look Back” and “I Don’t Like You,” the former proper BLITZ-worship and the latter a catchy belter with some nice BUZZCOCKS-style guitars. The CHISEL’S contributions are fantastic as always with “Keep it Schtum,” a hard one that reminds me of something off their first EP Deconstructive Surgery, and “Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” their catchiest and most celebratory since “Not the Only One.” Don’t be a square, shave your head and listen to this!

Mess Intercity 12″

If you like BLITZ (which you fucking well better had like), you’ll like this, simple as, end of. No pissing about, it’s about as perfect a slice of UK82 skiiiiinhead rock’n’roll as you are likely to find. Anthemic, euphoric, and bleach-stained as they come, could have easily booted its way onto a No Future release. One that will be in heavy rotation chez yours truly for the foreseeable future.