Photography: Michael Deardorff
Since forming in 2007, The Electric Mess have developed into an exciting
and tight rock n' roll band, led by an androgynous
and dynamic lead
singer, Chip Fontaine (aka Esther Crow).
The Huffington Post has
said "The Electric Mess entertain as a unit and still keep the music
heads happy with their solid
musicianship, a "too cool for words"
repertoire, and one of the most electrifying front men I have ever
Their self-titled debut album, featuring the
songs "You've Become a Witch," "Trash Talkin' Woman," and "She Has a
Walk," received excellent reviews and made numerous "Best of 2010"
lists. All 13 of its tracks have been heard on the radio,
both in the U.S. and internationally, including Rodney
Bingenheimer's "Rodney on the ROQ" (KROQ, Los Angeles), "Little
Steven's Underground Radio Show" (Sirius/XM), and "Nights with Alice Cooper"
(syndicated radio show).
Shindig! said: "There are a wide range of
influences, including British Invasion, 60's garage, R&B, and psych,
but it sure ain't
a mess... a very tight unit with bunch of strong tunes
possessing a fine, melodic edge. This is a fine debut."
All-Music Guide: "**** of 5 stars: "(The Electric Mess) have
the vintage approach and feel, they can write great songs, and
isn't afraid to hit ‘em hard and make their music move... Anyone who
wonders if there's anything left to be said on
the garage revival scene
ought to give The Electric Mess' debut a listen."
In 2011, Rowed Out Records (UK) issued a 7", featuring "You've Become a Witch/Trash Talkin' Woman" and "You've
Become a Witch" was featured on the CD/LP compilation "Hipsters Vol. 3" (read about it on modculture.com) on Acid Jazz
Records (UK), May, 2012
They released their second album,"Falling Off the Face of the Earth," in May, 2012, entitled Like their debut, it was recorded at
The Church in Brooklyn, engineered and mixed by David Horowitz, and mastered by punk legend Ivan Julian (Richard Hell and
the Voidoids). All 13 of its songs have been played on radio stations across the U.S. and on international radio stations and has
received excellent reviews, and made a bunch of "Best of 2012" lists. It was released on vinyl June, 2012, from Groovie Records,
and is also available on CD and iTunes download.
REVIEWS FOR "FALLING OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH":
"The Electric Mess? Nothing could be further from the
truth! Fronted by the mercurial vocal talents of androgynous lead
Esther Crow aka Chip Fontaine and backed by four intuitive
musicians... the New York City-based outfit produce tight,
white knuckle ride garage-punk."
Record Collector Magazine (UK):
"*** ... features Esther Crow's snarling androgyny ploughing through
punked up garage in the style of 90s bands on the U.S.
The Vinyl District (USA):
"New York’s The Electric
Mess are a garage band, but not in the contemporary sense of the term.
No, this group could easily
soundtrack any number of the dreams that
have unraveled on the back of Lenny Kaye’s beautiful eyelids. It’s the
of the ‘60s one-hit Farfisa drenched wonder also known
as Nuggets, and on Falling Off the Face of the Earth, they largely do
right by it."
Get Bent (USA):
On their follow up, Falling
Off the Face of the Earth, the band holds on to their winning formula,
mixing all of the best from the
60’s and 70’s into uptempo songs with a
punk attitude and a lot of fuzz and farfisa.* And lyrically, this album
is just as quirky, fun
and psychedelic as their s/t release.
"...if a swirling organ, 100mph grooves, screaming guitars, a driving
rhythm section and an authentic 60s-style production is right up your
street, you’ll love this album... there isn’t a duff tune on here. If
you love late ’60s garage or are a fan of Paisley Underground you’ll
be a fan of this too."
Babysue.com (USA): "*****...
it's a wowzer. These tracks combine the classic garage rock sounds from
the 1960s with the originalwave of
snotty attitude-driven punk rock from
the 1970s. The playing is furious and focused...and should appeal to
just about anyone who digs
classic garage rock. Thirteen growly
rockers... Top pick"
Rocktober Magazine (USA):
Beautifully desperate 60s garage pop fortified with orgasms,
girls-in-the-garage vocals, and beautifully ugle guitar goo!
Jester Jay (USA):
"Many bands aspire to the
retro haze of garage psychedelia, filling their tracks with a messy wall
of guitar fuzz and driving beats. Emphasizing
the garage side, they
revel in the sloppy catharsis of low-fi sound... but The Electric Mess
achieve a perfected form of the genre. Lovingly
engineered,(the album) proves that garage psych credibility doesn't require low-fi sonic fuzzball."
Rock Around the Blog (Portugal):
"...comes packed with the same feverish kind of 60’s garage psychedelic
punk explosion (as their debut), continuing to keep some of the
characteristics of the music of The Electric Mess... it's a
brutal menacing voyage to the sound of psychedelic escape with the sheen
of punk as
redemption, fueled by the thundering divine beat of 60's
Kick Out the Jams (Spain):
"From the streets of
NY, The Electric Mess remind me of the bands that created the scene
around Midnight Records record shop in the Big Apple...
that move through the garage punk label perfectly...a band that makes a
wall of sound 60's with total conviction."
June 29 issue of "The Santa Fe New Mexican"
"...the Mess’ basic sound is based on the mid-’60s Nuggets-era sound of
fuzz and Farfisa put through the punk-rock grinder. This album rocks
even harder than the group’s self-titled 2010 debut."
From Burning Wood (USA)
"...uncompromising and unpretentious sounds of the great garage bands
of the 60s, without ever skimping on musicianship. The Mess can play...
songs that catch fire right out of the gate and conjure images of The
Yardbirds, the 13th Floor Elevators, The Stooges, and at times, even
Stones... Esther Crow is up front, singing, howling, and begging.
She is soulful and contagious."
"...an orgy of old school garage punk bursting with Farfisa...a
delightfully wonky side that ends up winning membership of the
The Electric Mess has it in spades, the group
linking the tracks with this sense of urgency which animates those who
usually do not know what
tomorrow will bring... Fun Fun Fun."
"On their sophomore release, these NYC upstarts show their prowess for
creating an acid flashback you’ll be eager to relive time and time
and establish they’re some of fiercest cats to prowl out of the
psychedelic garage yet."
From Ice Cream Man Power Pop and More (Ding Ding) (UK):
"Gorgeous gem... really cool sixties styled garage pop punk... will
have you dancing in some way shape or form all night long... one hell of
album and will make a few 'Album of the Year' spots."
Rif Rock (Spain):
I already had long been waiting for this, and finally last week came to
my hands. This is the second album of New Yorkers The Electric Mess,
probably the best part of a new generation of revival scene in NYC.
Furious garage, power-punk rock, rhythmic beat, beautiful voices and
psychedelia acid games.... Tremendous disc."
Nosotros Somos Los Muertos (Spain):
"I expected this album as rain in May since I heard his impressive
self-titled debut... The garage, punk, rock'n'roll and R & B come
in powerful new album."
"...ear-piercing Farfisa, raucous guitars, driving rhythms and sneering
vocals... echoing the surge of original punk that rocked a thousand
suburban basements... suggests earlier revivalists like the Lyres and
Three O’Clock, period inspirations Question Mark and the Mysterians,
half the bands who’ve appeared on Nuggets and Pebbles collections.
Great original songs, blazing guitar riffs with neo-psych shades."
PRESS FOR OUR DEBUT ALBUM:
“Wide range of influences, but it sure ain't a mess... a very tight unit
with a bunch of strong tunes possessing a fine melodic edge...
(Crow's) tuneful vocals a major asset... songs are sufficiently strong
and original to avoid any accusations of pastiche."
- Shindig! Magazine
"**** of 5 stars. (The Electric Mess) have the vintage approach and
feel, they can write great songs, and the band isn't afraid to hit ‘em
hard and make their music move... Anyone who wonders if there's
anything left to be said on the garage revival scene ought to give
The Electric Mess' debut a listen.”
- All-Music Guide
“The Electric Mess entertain as a unit and still keep the music heads
happy with their solid musicianship, a "too cool for words" repertoire,
and one of the most electrifying front men I have ever seen."
- Huffington Post
“The Electric Mess has the ability to transport you back in time. Their
new self-titled album is a sound that is unheard of these days....there
is no way not to be interested in these guys.”
- Short and Sweet NYC
“...as a debut album, could not be better. This is a record too valuable
to remain hidden.”
- Rock Around the Blog
“Led by the swaggering, gravel 'n' honey-voiced ladies man Chip
Fontaine, this rocket-fueled quintet's legendary live shows provide the
best acid flashback you can have on a budget.”
- Randy Haecker- Sony BMG
“Great personality from their frontman who visually channels Cate
Blanchett’s Bob Dylan. She has a real full-throated shout of a voice…
you’re not likely to take your eyes off her dance moves the whole set.”
- George Cee (“SHIMMY”)- Garagepunknyc.com