Sunday 6 July 2014

Paul Messis - Nightmares/Penny Arcade

Single review by KevW

Musically, there's always been a case for saying that Paul Messis is willfully out of step with current trends, preferring to live his life through the haze of rare '60s psych and garage 45s, but the past couple of years has actually seen this particular style see a partial return to public consciousness thanks to the success of bands such as Temples. Messis will, naturally, refuse to tailor his records so that they can hitch a ride on any passing bandwagons though, and rightly so. It could be argued that the two tracks on his latest release are two of the very best he's made so far, and this is no mean feat for someone with a sizable back-catalogue and who rarely strays from the confines of a certain sound and era.

As 'Nightmares' reverberates and twangs into being, you can't help but be reminded of the 12-string jangle of Roger McGuinn, and also the melody to 'Eight Miles High'. The '60s saw a cultural shift and was maybe the most prevalent time for protest songs, and history repeats itself here as the song tackles modern problems with the world; the irony being that so many of these are the exact same problems that the youth of that generation rallied against. Of course, this sounds as though it belongs on a Nuggets collection, but if it was an "original artifact" then it would have been one of the highlights. 'Penny Arcade' also sparkles with guitar and has a folkier air to it, even including some harmonica. The melody to this track is strongly reminiscent of another song, yet I can't quite put my finger on it (suggestions welcome!), but either way, it would be best served via a broadcast from Radio Caroline.

Paul Messis' website

Buy the single

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