THIS BEAUTIFUL MESS - Temper The Wind To The Shorn Lamb

This Beautiful Mess - Temper The Wind To The Shorn Lamb

11 songs
52:06 minutes
***** ****


A very promising cover artwork invites to a journey through the moodier moments in life. Barren trees in a foggy landscape normally don't promise joyous rock'n'roll, but you don't often find bands that can celebrate sadness with so much depth like these young people from Holland. Temper The Wind To The Shorn Lamb is already their second album, and would have been criminally mature for a debut. Although the first couple of songs are still rather rhythmic, drawing parallels to a less commercial Coldplay, it's the occasional brass and string arrangements that add a vivid colour lacking so often with sad core bands.

Already the second song ends with a fanfaresque sounding brass section, For Me Ten Others has an alien country tinge, putting This Beautiful Mess somewhere into Saddle Creek regions, and it's there where we notice for the first time that a Conor Oberst would be more than happy if he could still write such moving songs. Other highlights include the sprawling epic Everything Is Held now that keeps its spine-splitting conclusion 'til the very end, in a fit of mariachi genius only reached so far by bands like Neutral Milk Hotel and Calexico. And if you are looking for an ideal pop song, you will find it with Don't Go There, combining perfectly catchiness, rock and melancholy.

This Beautiful Mess haven't stolen their name. Their basic indie rock sound is enriched with the strangest elements, elevating them above the sad monotony of slow core bands. There are enough great songs to make this one of the best indie albums in a long time. If you think you need to hit the deepest American Midwest to find emotional indie bands, look no further than Holland. A perfect album for the cold and lonely months of the year.

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