• Prima Donna - Bless This Mess

    Prima Donna – Bless This Mess

    Released by: Acetate Records

    Released on: February 14, 2012.

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    Their second full length for Acetate Records (the first being After Hours), Prima Donna’s Bless This Mess was recorded after an opening slot on Green Day’s last European tour. It’s a decent mix of glam rock hooks and semi-snotty punk style vocals with fleeting but welcome bits of melody, harmony and soul worked in where needed. Engineered by Chris Dugan, who has also worked with Green Day as well as Iggy Pop, the recording is clean without sounding overly sanitized, letting a little bit of a raunchy, sleazy seep into things – which is to the album’s benefit. There’s a strong Johnny Thunders style element to a lot of what goes on here, the New York Dolls are channeled more than a few times and all of those aforementioned influences are worn proudly from the band’s sound to their look.

    Things kick off with the opening track, Maxine, a fairly quick and guitar heavy number which sets the tone for the rest of the album. A T-Rex influence is obvious early on, maybe some glitter era Bowie too, never a bad thing when handled well as it is on this album. The rest of the eleven tracks that make up the whole of the recording keep it up at a similar pace. They’re never blisteringly fast but they’ll get your foot tapping. The guitar work is impressive and the vocals, courtesy of sometimes Foxboro Hot Tubs member Kevin Preston (who also plays lead guitar) fits the music really well.

    Other stand out tracks include Sociopath and Feral Children, both just quality rock n roll numbers played with some slick style and supported by a strong rhythm section made up of bass player Lights Out Levine and drummer David Field. The back beat is pretty thick across the board, while second guitar courtesy of Erik Arcane helps fill the sound out rather well. Miss Avenue also kicks it, infusing some sax and brash piano in with the guitar, bass and drums to make for the best song on the record. The album feels very complete, very polished and well assembled on a technical level. If at times it’s maybe a little too clean (and it is), it’s forgivable as the good definitely outweighs the bad.

    Prima Donna don’t seem to be doing anything here that hasn’t been done before. You won’t put this album on and be instantly blown away by a brand new sound or by completely unconventional musical styles. Rather, it’ll all sound very familiar – but they do what they do well, and they do what they do with a lot of energy and a lot of charisma. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    The complete track listing for Bless This Mess is as follows:

    1. Maxine / 2. Sociopath / 3. Feral Children / 4. Broken / 5. Let The Games Begin / 6. Bless This Mess / 7. Staring Daggers / 8. Miss Avenue / 9. Tryin' / 10. Puta / 11. She Said