Category Archives: Big Mess

Big Mess New Album and Tour (8/29-10/2)

Big Mess Album
Hey all, Big Mess, a local favorite of ours for a few years now, is heading out on a big ass tour and you’d be a damn fool not to attend. Better yet, pick up their debut full-length LP You Are My Sunshine (via Midnight Werewolf Records) on September 16th. Ahh you may think sunshine is too lighthearted for Big Mess, but damn that sunshine song always disturbed me as a child. It still gives me the creeps. Why would they take your sunshine away? I don’t get it. So, it fits with Big Mess is what I’m saying.

Sneak peek of new album here on their bandcamp:

Big Mess Tour
Tour Dates:
8/29 Boston, MA O’Brien’s Pub

9/2 Albany, NY@The Shred Shack

9/3 Mansfield, OH @ Relax, It’s Just Coffee

9/4 Athens, OH @ The Smiling Skull

9/5 Bloomington, IN @ The Cream

9/6 Chicago, IL @ Bric A Brac Records

9/7 Lawrence, KS @ Jackpot Music Hall

9/8 Denver, CO

9/9 Salt Lake City, UT

9/10 Idaho @ Bouquet

9/11 Portland, OR @ Foggy Notion

9/12 Eugene, OR

9/13 Northern CA

9/14 Stockton, CA @ The Bus Stop

9/15 Oakland, CA

9/16 San Francisco, CA @ Neck of the Woods

9/17 Santa Barbara, CA @ Biko’s Garage

9/18 Santa Barbara, CA @ 5. 4. 3. 2. FUN

9/19 Anaheim, CA @ The Doll Hut

9/20 Los Angeles, CA @ House Show

9/21 Phoenix, AZ @ The Trunk Space

9/22 Santa Fe, NM

9/23 Austin, TX @ The Lost Well

9/24 New Orleans, LA

9/25 Murfreesboro, TN @ Rack City?

9/26 Asheville NC @ The Mothlight

9/27 NC

9/28 Richmond

9/29 Silver Springs, MD @ Joe’s Record Paradise

9/30 Philly

10/1 NY @ SUNY Purchase

10/2 Portsmouth, NH @ Red Door

Review: The New Highway Hymnal, CreaturoS, Fagettes, Big Mess @ Mid East Up (5/16/13)

Bands: The New Highway Hymnal, CreaturoS, Fagettes, Big Mess
Date: Thursday, May 16, 2013
Venue: Middle East Upstairs (Cambridge, MA)

Big Mess – Big Mess are one of my favorite Boston/New England bands and it’s always fun to see them live.  It’s been a few months since I’ve had the pleasure and in that time the Lowell based trio has played a shit ton of shows including a gigantic tour with Allston rockers, Kal Marks ( My friend Justin Cole, who has seen the band more times than I have (which is a lot), claims the band has gotten even better since the tour. I am going to go and agree with Mr. Cole on this account.

As always, Big Mess creates a colossal assault on the ears with massive, noisy guitar hooks and piledriver drums. Indeed, Justin Cole is correct, Big Mess appear to be more diabolical than ever before. Heavy songs like “The Hook” and “Side A” (on their Split w/ S’eance) truly come alive when the band is on stage and at the Middle East they sound better than ever. The latter is a slow, lingering menace that like most Big Mess songs is easy to head bang to, but it’s the song’s quietest moments that are the most menacing. Just listen to the song here: If you listen at 2:29-2:54 then you’ll know what I mean. It hits you pretty hard on bandcamp, but live is even crazier. I am especially fond of the sound system at Middle East and it is cool to see Big Mess in this setting as opposed to a crowded basement in Lowell,  which is my usual preference. Either way, see these guys any way you can and they play a lot!

Fagettes – Big Mess is a tough act to follow, but Fagettes are sound competitors and as far as I am concerned they take the cake. Also like Big Mess, Fagettes are one of my favorite local bands and just a favorite overall. Much of this admiration stems from the fact that Fagettes play a dirty, loose style of  rock ‘n’ roll that we at KLYAM  repeatedly gush over, over and over and over again. It fits in the lineage of flabbergasting, modern day garage punk (particularly on the West Coast a la Nobunny, Hunx and His Punx, and Shannon and the Clams).

I’ve seen Fagettes five times now and by far this is the best show. It’s not only the best show, it’s also the sloppiest and when it comes to garage/punk slime/beer guzzlin’, finger poppin’, good times music, whatever you like to call it, I like it sloppy, rough around the edges – as long as the songs are still intact and everyone is having fun. Otherwise, what’s the point? These guys and gal look like they are having a fun, drunken, wild time on stage; Vocalist/guitarist, harmonica guy, Ryan Fagette looks like he can barely stand up at times, yet he still keeps his cool as always. No one else in Boston makes this kind of music like Fagettes! Providence’s Atlantic Thrills and New Hampshire’s Migs are on the same level, but in beantown it’s Fagettes turf. They just get it. They have the sound and style down pat, they have the songs to back it up, and they put on a sweet show.

Speaking of the songs, the usual intoxicant themed favorites are on display: “The AA Took My Baby Away,” “Water, Tea, And Alcohol,” and the pointedly titled “On Drugs,” among other notable gems like “My Girl Looks Like Johnny Thunders,” which is dedicated to Cam Smithers of Nice Guys.

The set closes with an extended (or I am just really fucked and it seems longer than usual), extra rowdy version of “Water, Tea, and Alcohol,” culminating  with vocalist/drummer, Melanie Bernier kicking a monitor into my face, sending  some tingles down my wee body.

Set List:
“Street Queens”
“The AA Took My Baby Away”
“On Drugs”
“My Girl Looks Like Johnny Thunders”
“Gonna Die Out Here”
“Water, Tea, and Alcohol”

CreaturoS – Unfortunately, we miss a portion of CreaturoS set, but upon our arrival back into the mighty Middle East, we see CreaturoS up on stage and they are accompanied by the colorful, psychedelic mind fuck that is the Lysergic Factory Light Show, a perfect visual for a freshly lit concertgoer.

During this set, I spot Domenic (SKIMASK, Viva Via) on drums, which is new to me. In my previous two CreaturoS experiences they had a different drummer. Well, he is a solid fit for the band.

CreaturoS are a fine band and they have elements of psych and garage that I can surely get behind. On the other hand, I feel like they drone on for longer than I would have liked. Still, I can recommend their music and I advise you to give it some ear time:

The New Highway Hymnal – Here’s a trio that I never get tired of seeing. If you take a gander at the KLYAM Concert Calendar (Do iT!) you will see that we have attended and adored many a hip shakin’, gut bustin’, saliva drippin’ New Highway set. Though, we have never seen them at the Middle East before, tis a pleasure. The PA is terrific, further accentuating the group’s furious sonic attack.

The Lysergic Factory Light Show can make pretty much any band look cool with all of their swirling, acid trippy visuals, but the light show fits best with The New Highway Hymnal, at least in my experience. Their music is already trippy, so when you toss those fancy lights on them it’s a striking presentation.

Tonight’s performance is riveting per usual, though the crowd is a bit mellower than most audiences at a NHH show. Nonetheless, the place is packed (if not sold out) and kids seem to dig the onslaught of psych grit that NHH has to offer. Most, if not all, of the songs are from last year’s Whispers, a record I cannot recommend enough.



Two of Boston’s finest bands, Big Mess and Kal Marks are heading on tour this March, go see them if you live in or near any of the following cities:

PURCHASE, NY @ SUNY w/ Grower and Callow

Richmond VA @ Babe Cave w/ Starfish Prime, Basamti

Asheville NC @MuderBAsement w/ Doomster

MURFRESSBORO, TN @ Avalon House w/ Brain Candy, Bad Friends and Bottle Tosser

MEMPHIS, TN @ Tako’s Treasures w/Diemonds

Denton, TX @ Taqueria El Picante

Austin, TX @ I ♥ Video

FRIDAY, 3/15
TX (Austin) @ The Grackle

New Orleans LA @ TBA

SUNDAY, 3/17
GA (ATL) Sampson st. loft show w/ Vegan Coke, Polish Nails, Warehouse.

MONDAY, 3/18
North Carolina @ TBA

Harrisonburg, VA, @ My Mansion w/Malatese, Lil Huffy


Lindenwold, NJ @ Sex Dungeon

FRIDAY, 3/22
Cambridge, MA @ MID EAST UP w/PILE, Fat History Month

MAINE @ TBA w/ Black Norse

Info from

Big Mess

Kal Marks

Big Mess Live @ The Boxfort (1/19/13)

Big Mess – Side A @ The Boxfort 1/19/13 from potato and bean on Vimeo.

Check out this sick live video of Big Mess playing “Side A” at Woodstock 94 at The Boxfort. Looks like it was a great show, I wasn’t there and I’ve actually never been to the Boxfort, I’ll have to check it out sometime, looks like a sweet little space.

Oh and check out this video of Big Mess playing “The Hook” that same night:

Review: Big Mess, Kal Marks, Frankie Teardrop, SUNS, Tawny Peaks, and Heavy Petals @ Wilder Zangcraft (1/6/13)

Big Mess

Bands: Heavy Petals, Big Mess, Kal Marks, Frankie Teardrop, SUNS,  Tawny Peaks
Date: Sunday, January 6, 2013
Venue: Wilder Zangcraft (Lowell, MA)

Act I: Heavy Petals – I am excited to say this is the first show I am seeing in 2013. Overall 2012 was the best year for shows, each year seems to get better.  Anywho, Heavy Petals (I hope I have this name right, please inform me if I don’t) is a last minute addition to this bill, so I’ve never seen their name in writing.  They are a five piece and they deliver a sick, rocking set drenched in folk-country mixed with a little bit of punk. This reminds me of Those Darlins, especially with two female vocalists.  In fact, I’d specifically recommend them to fans of Those Darlins –  a lot of traditional country vocals.  I also notice that they expand beyond these elements and feature a more sinister side, bearing resemblances to Sonic Youth. All in all, a fun set.

Act II: Big Mess– Big Mess as always is a flat, sonic death punch to the gut.  I never get sick of hearing those catastrophic guitars and heart pounding drums.  Seriously, someone has to synch up these songs to a slasher/horror flick.  I can’t say this Big Mess set is particularly unique from any other Big Mess performance, but that’s not necesarily a bad thing. I consistently look forward to their high quality sets and they have never let me down.  I’m also glad to hear that some of the touring bands are fans of Big Mess now. Indeed, more kids need to experience this colossal band. You can start here:

Act III: Kal Marks –  Kal Marks have made a name for themselves in the Boston underground, charming us along the way- Unfortunately, unlike Big Mess, I (we) haven’t seen Kal since May 2011, opening for Peach Kelli Pop at the Problem House as can be read in the link above. I remember thinking they were a diverse group, able to capture various styles and sounds all at once.  I still feel that way, and I especially admire their latest EP Piss of the Century.  Lead vocalist Carl has a highly distinctive, high pitched voice with a certain drawl that oddly reminds me of Kurt Cobain.  Tonight, Kal Marks is a two piece (in need of a bassist), but GOOD NEWS! AS OF WRITING THIS THEY HAVE FOUND A BASS PLAYER NAMED MIKE. WORD.  Though, they still sound awesome as a two piece.  Can’t wait to see them back in action again as a full band.  It’s a good set for the most part, but in some of the louder songs, I can barely hear the vocals, while on the softer tunes those sick pipes come through a bit clearer. So, I hear Big Mess and Kal Marks are going to tour together in March, GO SEE EM KIDS!

Act IV: Frankie Teardrop – Going into this next performance, I don’t know what to expect. And I’ve professed before that’s how I like it. I like the unexpected. Frankie isn’t just one dude (it’s funny, up until now, I had this image in my head of this sad lounge singer in a tuxedo with a whiskey bottle, though I was positive it wouldn’t be like that and for everyone’s sake, it is not). Frankie’s a full band. One dude on vocals/guitar in the front area where attendees stand and the rest of the members in the conventional band space in the back. The man on vocals and guitar, Frankie perhaps, flails and flings about as he rocks through his frenetic set. He looks possessed. It’s noisy and somewhat amateur, but I like it a lot. I can’t not fixate on this dude and his weird movement. I’ll have to listen to more of their music, because I can’t pin down any specific idea or style, but it’s satisyingly peculiar, that’s for sure. By the way, Frankie Teardrop is on tour from Ohio, and in fact they also played with Fat History Month and Pile at O’Brien’s Pub. Sounds like one helluva tour fellas, excellent!

Act V: SUNS – These dudes have a pop punk sound to them, but they sound better than most folks with that label.  Still,  not the kind of music that sets my rocks off, but maybe it will turn you on. Check it out here:

Act VI: Tawny Peaks– Like their tourmates SUNS, not really a Chris DeCarlo kinda band. Can’t remember too much, sorry. But, they play emo that is similar to Slurred Speech, so if you dig that, maybe you will enjoy Tawny Peaks. Check em’ out:

Review: Big Mess, Pissbath, Slurred Speech, Haldol, Regret, the Informer, Districts @ Wilder Zangcraft (11/9/12)

Bands: Big Mess, Pissbath, Slurred Speech, Haldol, Regret, the Informer/Districts (12 inch release)
Date: Friday, November 9, 2012
Venue: Wilder Zangcraft (Lowell, MA)
Act I: Big Mess- I’ve never been huge on strictly instrumental music, but in the past year, my ears have had the pleasure of being jostled by Boston behemoths, Big Mess. As I’ve said before, this here is a band you need to experience live. Sometimes I fall in love with a band’s studio (or bedroom) work,  but when I see them in person, the songs don’t translate as well. This isn’t the case with Big Mess; quite the opposite. Live, they are a sonic beast, a total wall of headbanging inducing noise. Much of their music is heavy, but there’s also a quiet, intimate quality to the band that can be best appreciated at a nice, little basement spot like Wilder Zangcraft. I can honestly say tonight’s show is one of the best I’ve seen, with the band sounding as fierce and intense as ever. In particular, I want to note the drumming of Nick Egersheim, which is one of the first things that struck me about the band. There’s an undeniable frenetic character to his style; he smacks the drums so hard, it’s as if his sticks are his fists and the drums are a body, like a fistfight and each smack is another punch. I don’t know why I always conjure up violent images when I listen to Big Mess, I guess I am just a sick guy. In any case, they’re a badass band and I heavily recommend them to all of y’all.

Act II: Pissbath– I love this name, especially coming after Big Mess. Well, I can imagine the pissbath would come first and then it would be a big mess, for sure. But, not tonight. This Nashville quartet plays fast, hardore punk inspired jams. In the traditions of  old school hardcore, this group blasts through each cut in a matter of seconds, keeping it short, but sweet. You can listen to their demo tape here:

Act III: Haldol– Unfortunately, we missed these fellow Nashville punkers, but you can check out their bandcamp here:

Act IV: Slurred Speech– Slurred Speech is one man powerhouse Josh Tracy. Tracy’s music  consists of one man, one guitar, and a fine set of pipes. He sings with a lot of emotion and is able to get a crowded, sweaty basement full of drunken students to sing along with him. Slurred Speech may not be my cup of tea, but I genuinely enjoy the intimate, interactive charm of Tracy’s performance/music and overall sense of humor. I especially love when he mentions feeling badass about listening to System Of A Down and how everyone else most likely had the same reaction as a youngster. Well, I felt badass listening to System Of A Down, I still do. Check out Josh’s jams here:

Act V: Regret, The Informer– Regret, The Informer has embarked on tour all the way from Missouri and tonight they are here alongside Districts (the band up next) in honor of the release of their split 12″.  Regret shares the same hardcore sound as some of the other bands on the bill tonight, but they seem to  permeate a slower, more melodic sound. If you want hear Regret, The Informer, click here:

Act V: Districts– Lowell’s own, Districts close this fun filled evening of diverse local and national music. Districts play energetic screamo/hardcore and it looks like they have some dedicated fans in attendance singing along to their impassioned vocals. It seems like Districts have made a name for themselves around town and beyond, catch em’ if you can or start by listening to them here:

Listen to Big Mess – “New Wave” Live @ Barre Fest
Some cool Big Mess tunes live from Barre Fest this past August.  If you don’t know Big Mess, I urge you to listen and not just ignore it because you don’t know them. Who knows, you could discover one of your favorite bands, definitely one of my favorites. Sludgy, heavy, bluesy, catchy, it’s all there.