The much-anticipated Atlanta Mess Around lived up to the hype, as it was two days of awesome punk and garage rock sounds from current and former Atlantans and some out-of-town favorites. It was like an early Christmas present the dudes at Rob's House, Douchemaster, and Triple D's tirelessly put together for all of us to enjoy. It was like Disneyland for punks or Spring Break in PCB for poor kids. Hell, it was Corndogorama with better bands.
Opening 529's afternoon festivities on Friday for all of us pre-dawn drunks was those angry young men from Ralph. These Wells Street Warehouse regulars got the early crowd ready to hear more classic-style hardcore from Bukkake Boys. Hopefully, the inclusion of these two bands will open people who may not have heard them otherwise up to checking out the local hardcore scene.
On third was The Customers, one of several good bands to emerge from the ashes of groups like The Carbonas, Beat Beat Beat, and The Heart Attacks. I'm glad the early shows were part of this festival, as they gave bands like The Customers a chance to play for visitors from Florida, Canada, and a few places in between.
Closing out Friday's early show was the star-studded Gaye Blades. The one consistent member of this band is Jared Swilley, and nowadays he is joined in the band by Gentleman Jesse Smith, John Kang, and Mike Beavers. I quite frankly was not sure if I would enjoy the band without Bobby Ubangi, but the new lineup grew on me as soon as they started ripping through songs inspired by the golden age or rock and roll. The highlight of their set and the entire early show was a touching and rocking performance of "Bobby is a Lover".
Notice Jesse's pink Rickenbacher. I don't know a lot about guitars, but I do know that thing looks badass.
Waiting for an eternity to get served tacos at a local restaurant caused me to miss The Barreracudas, but I did catch the rest of the nightcap.
The first band I caught was Bad Sports, a solid outfit from The Wax Museums family tree that reminded me a little of their Austin/Dentoncore forefathers The Marked Men.
G.G. King was next with their ever-growing set of awesome punk songs, and they were followed by Chicago's standard-bearing garage punks, CoCoComa. I surprisingly had never heard CoCoComa, so I got to discover for the first time a band with a live sound that is poppy and oh so infectious.
The legendary Urinals were next to last, and the songs they played can be pigeonholed into three narrow categories. The songs we all wanted to hear sounded like classic no-frills punk rock, a few more adventurous songs sounded like stripped-down Wipers demos, and the rest sounded like bar rock. Aside from the song or three that resembled bar rock, the bright spots really shined, and it is not hard to figure out why Mika Miko and that whole Smell crowd seemingly look up to this group.
Closing the party was as good a party band as you are going to find. In fact, with all due respect to our hometown Coathangers, Davila 666 are the best party band you are going to find. These guys from Puerto Rico floor audiences with dance-worthy songs beefed up by chantalong choruses that owe as much to The Misfits as they do to any earlier or contemporary Latino punk band. They were as tight and exciting a band as I have seen in recent memory.