Album Review: Messing – ‘Couldn’t Be Better’

Posted: by The Editor

Messing’s debut LP Couldn’t Be Better is an absolute noisy joy. There’s a lightness to their harshness that encapsulates the common twenty-something feeling of thrashing against unsustainable parts of our youths we try to outgrow. The tone of this LP matches the cover art: big, bold, corny, and golden. The first five seconds are immediate fun and pull you into the ten elastic alt rock tracks.


Vocalist Mac Hunt has a charismatic flange to his voice, making for a rolling fun sound even in harding hitting lines like, “Maybe it’s best if I find my own ride home.” Guitarist Keenan Cosner pushes the perimeters of chords, and we’re here for it. Cooper Greenlee’s bass is grounding, sometimes bombastic. The keywork of Laura Wilson gives flair and balance to the loudness. Anna Messick’s drum work had mye head bobbing a few times. Producer TJ Elias pinpoints a distant feeling that Messing invokes, and brings it close to home. I have no complaints. After hearing the directly conversational lyrics of “Disjointed” alongside bubbly keys and vaguely ’90s alt rock guitarwork, I found myself comparing Messing to Jeff Rosenstock or Third Eye Blind. I’d like to mention that it can be tricky to sound comparable to great bands from the past without falling into the pit of nostalgia bait or emulation, but Messing runs along the tightrope to the other side with ease. 


The closer “Be Safe” has a folksy feel that doesn’t stray too far from the new-wave emo identity Messing is creating. It’s one of my favorite closers so far this year, and makes me eager to hear what else Messing has in store. My biggest caveat for this LP is that I won’t be recommending this album to everyone–I unfortunately have some squares in my life that probably can’t handle Couldn’t Be Better.

Disappointing / Average / Good / Great / Phenomenal

Couldn’t Be Better is out now.

Anne Hurban | @fyrbrdtransanne

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