The lockdowns and quarantines during the early days of the pandemic really sucked. No one will argue with that. But one good thing that happened, as a result, is the music birthed from the frustration and desolation of those times.
Blind Mess is a Stoner Rock three-piece hailing from Munich, Germany, and their new record After the Storm means a lot to them because they worked on it during those fraught pandemic days. Daniel Camma Rota (vocals, guitar) told me this latest effort from the band is all about DIY recording and mixing.
Rota and the rest of Blind Mess also think After the Storm is their best album to date, and we can’t argue with them there. The German Stoner Rockers have been refining their sound since their debut self-titled record in 2017, and this new album is an excellent combination of heavy stoner riffs and punk rock energy.
About Blind Mess
Blind Mess has been gathering followers in Germany’s heavy rock underground since forming in 2016, but they’re still under the radar. The band describes their style as “a mess of fuzzy tones and screams in a nebula of rock ‘n roll.”
They’re perfect for fans of Motörhead, Queens of the Stone Age, and Fu Manchu, and they’re an excellent addition to a surprisingly fertile German Stoner Rock scene that includes underground legends like Samsara Blues Experiment, My Sleeping Karma, and Colour Haze.
After the Storm is Blind Mess’s third full-length album, following 2019’s The Good, The Bad & The Dead and 2017’s self-titled debut. The band has worked tirelessly since 2016 to refine their sound and create an “explosive” live show where their goal is to leave no t-shirt dry.
The final mastering of After the Storm was made by Jan Oberg at Hidden Planet Studio in Berlin, and the record label is DeadClockWork Studios. The album was released on September 18th and is available on Bandcamp now. The band also told me they’re doing a crowdfunding campaign where they’ll try to release the album on strictly limited vinyl, so any support is highly appreciated.
Blind Mess is:
- Daniel Camma Rota – Vocals, Guitar
- Oskar Sirbu – Bass
- Martin Hörschelmann – Drums
After the Storm Album Review
Release Date: September 18, 2022
Track 1 – Left to Do
The first track is a short and powerful shot of adrenaline. “Left to Do” highlights Blind Mess’s punk rock roots, a fast and loud song that probably sounds incredible live. It features impressive guitar work, and it’s an opener that lets us know this album will be a brawl-fest from start to finish.
Track 2 – Fight Fire with Fire
We’ll excuse Blind Mess for naming a song after a classic Metallica track. This was one of my favorite tracks on the album, featuring one of the best riffs that crashes in at the open and takes us on a trip to the underworld. Rota’s screaming vocals during the chorus may send chills down your spine.
About midway through, “Fight Fire with Fire” also features a cool instrumental breakdown, followed by a short guitar solo that sounds eerily similar to something from Kirk Hammett. Maybe the track name isn’t a coincidence after all.
Track 3 – Twilight Zone
We enter the “Twilight Zone” with track three, another fast-played, thrashing song with Rota’s screaming vocals. It’s tracks like this on the record that show how Blind Mess has combined their love of Stoner Rock, Metal, Punk, and Hardcore into their own unique blend.
Track 4 – Sirens
“Sirens” is a change of pace, a song about the sirens in Greek mythology that tempted Odysseus’ crew with their alluring voices. Rota tells the tale throughout the track with some really cool vocal work, interchanged with his punk-rock screams. This is the longest track of the album and a rather complex song structure-wise, with several changes throughout. One could think of “Sirens” as the narrative Greek epic of After the Storm.
Track 5 – Killing My Idols
“Killing My Idols” starts slow but picks up at Blind Mess’s signature break-neck pace. Rota’s vocals are distorted on this one, so I couldn’t quite make out what he was saying, but, hey, it sounded cool. The band mentions they are inspired by Motörhead, and I could see the influence of that classic band in this track. The heavy riffs and guitar work were reminiscent of some great classic rock.
Track 6 – Damage
This track is called “Damage,” not “Damage, Inc.,” so they avoided the Metallica nomenclature this time around. Rota’s vocal style is a bit different here, more subdued, though the song itself still chugs at a fast pace. Like “Killing My Idols,” this is another song that has some ‘70s classic rock vibes.
Track 7 – At the Gates
“At the Gates” features a cool riff to open, and then it hazes into a surprising psychedelic reverie. But like most of this album, there are twists and turns throughout, and the track drives back into harder territory. Rota tells a story I somewhat followed about him and his friends being lost in the woods, which added to the fantasy-fiction twist to the song.
Track 8 – Save a Bullet
The album closes with “Save a Bullet” and a driving riff that reminded me very much of Queens of the Stone Age. Blind Mess is a versatile band that switches styles often, sometimes throughout the songs themselves, and “Save a Bullet” is perhaps the purest Stoner Rock song on the album. Rota’s vocals even sound like Josh Homme a bit, so if you like QOTSA, you’ll love this song.
Standout Tracks: “Save a Bullet,” “Fight Fire with Fire,” “Sirens”
Pros: I really dig this album. I wasn’t aware of Blind Mess before Rota contacted me on Facebook, and I’m glad he brought their stuff to my attention. After the Storm is pure Rock ‘n Roll with something almost everyone can like.
The German rockers touch on Punk, Hardcore, Stoner, and Metal, and they throw it all together in a way that’s fresh and feels brand new. There are hints of classic rock throughout, but nothing feels formulaic or played out.
Cons: I can’t think of much I didn’t like about After the Storm. Not every track on the album is top-notch, but there’s enough consistency both in quality and thematically that it’s a new album Stoner Rockers should know about.