Perhaps holding the record of Australia’s hardest working band, our friends The Hard Aches – fresh from a sold out tour, spent three long weeks in the studio with Melbourne producer Sam Johnson to bring us Mess.
Featuring Camp Cope’s Georgia Maq, Craig Selak of The Bennies and fan favourite Jeff Rosenstock, the Adelaide duo’s sophomore album has a little something for everyone.
Title track ‘Mess’ begins slowly but kicks into gear as the song moves forward with “we’re not burning out’ a lyric set to become a popular feature of live shows in the future. “It’s always way too easy to feel like you’ve burned out whether it be physically, mentally or emotionally, this is a constant reminder to recharge,” explains vocalist Ben David, a message that Mess follows closely throughout the album.
‘Happy’ the first song to feature Georgia Maq tells the story of a struggling relationship with both sides fighting their own personal demons and trying to keep things together. Ben and Georgia sharing vocals for the emotional and moving “I’ve been hoping like hell we can find our way out of this mess” is a clear highlight of the album.
‘Friendship’ a slow and sad song that ends in a punch tells of the importance of friends and those close to you helping you feel less alone, while ‘Warm Blooded’ tells a tale of distance between lovers. They’re both set to become fan favourites and songs that help you when you’re feeling down.
When talking about Mess, David revealed that the album was “written with a focus on mental health in a hopeful and positive light” and songs like ‘I Feel Like I’m Dying’ and ‘On The Mend’ certainly prove that to be true with lyrics like “but at least I’m still breathing” and “I’m pretty down at the moment but I’m on the mend” respectively.
The final track ‘Family’ sees the album end on a more positive note, almost as if we are hearing a follow on reaction to the aforementioned ‘Friendship’ as this track explores the friends of ours that we view as family. Fittingly, along for the ride on this song is Georgia Maq once again as the two best friends sing together “this is our home, this is our family. It feels like home, it feels like a family”.
According to the Ben David Mess is exactly what the duo have been working towards over the years, “the album is sonically (and creatively) the best representation of us as a band.” From a fan perspective, it’s an album that has been hotly anticipated since announce. Mess is a record that everybody involved in should be incredibly proud of.