Saturday, 11 May 2013

Paul Messis - Case Closed

Garage folk for the disenfranchised. Second album from West Sussex based songwriter.

Fifty years after Jagger's dissatisfaction it appears there's still plenty of reasons for today's young man to feel distanced from wider mainstream society. Paul Messis' second album Case Closed is a case in point. Across the album's twelve tracks Messis lets the listener into his worldview, expressing, loneliness, alienation, disdain for society's hypocrisy, along with a defiant yearning for a freer, kinder, more open-minded world.

Messis has as much contempt for the mores of the modern world as he has for modern production values. Like his previous releases, Case Closed sounds like it it was recorded in the mid '60s, with Messis striving for and achieving a convincing take on his beloved Minnesota garage and Sunset Strip folk rock.

Messis sets his stall out from the off, “I Hate The World Around Me” has a stinging lyrical attack coupled with a frantic pace. It's the album's gentler, more melodic moments that work best though. “A Matter Of Opinion” and “The Tables Have Turned” being the strongest tunes, the latter further enhanced by a biting fuzz guitar solo.

Part Byrds' jangle, part Americans imitating the Stones circa 1965, and part C86 feyness, the resulting album is not your average garage rock re-hash, mainly due to Messis' abilities as an introspective singer songwriter. Though not a great vocalist, (a couple of vocal re-takes wouldn't have hurt), you do believe in him, there's a sincerity in his voice and lyrics which wins you over.

Once again the authentic attention to detail that State Records are getting a reputation for is present. Not only does the album have an impressively varied array of guitar tones, the limited LP version is on 180gram vinyl with a front-laminated flipback sleeve. Nice!