Mest messes up pop-punk formula

Mest'Mest'Maverick Records

Blink-182, they're to blame. Thanks a lot guys.

Their seamless mix of pop and punk was (and still is) the perfect combination, safe enough for parents and pop fans while still, somehow, rebellious enough for millions of real and fake punks to embrace.

They make it look easy. So easy, in fact, that they unwittingly opened up the floodgates that has since let in countless amounts of no-talent bands that look and sound exactly like the band that started it all.

The problem is, no one does it nearly as well. It's not as easy as it looks, is it?


Just ask the boys of Simple Plan and Good Charlotte, loved by teenage girls, but booed off the stage every night on the Warped Tour, the tour meant to showcase their kind of music. And despite their recent success, they still haven' come close to the record sales of Blink.

Too much emphasis on pop equals rejection by the punk community; too much punk equals no record sales.

However, this lose-lose situation isn't slowing the flow of pop-punk hopefuls, in fact, the ones that are already out there are starting to team up.

Enter Mest, who just happen to be great friends with (and sound exactly like) Good Charlotte. There might be safety in numbers, but this album proves that there definitely isn't quality.

Mest's self-titled album kicks off with "Until I Met You," which sports an epic introduction that makes the following songs pale even more in comparison. These guys messed up the pop-punk formula big time. Most of these songs aren't even catchy. Distorted vocals and drum machines are far overused. Tracks like "Jaded (These Years)" feature lyrics and guitar lines that sound all too familiar, from songs that weren't even that good in the first place.

Even worse, when Mest isn't ripping off its contemporaries, the group sounds like a bad cover band.

"Rooftops" sounds like the Cure minus the gloom, while "Burning Bridges" is Sublime, but with Brad Nowell's sharp, often hilarious lyrics replaced with an achingly dreary plea for peace: "Tell me is this world we live in alright? Why does every conversation end in a fight?"

In the end, though, the group's sincerity is completely lost in the bland production and lifeless delivery.


The biggest problem with this album, however, is the speed.

Most of the songs are unbearably slow. Even when things start to pick up, the tempo never rises above a turtle's pace.

Mest is mind numbingly dull. It would be the perfect CD to fall asleep to, not because it's soothing, but because it's so boring.

It's impossible to stay interested for more than two minutes, which is just enough to hear everything this album has to offer.

"Mest" is an exercise in patience. How many times can one stand the same sour melody over and over? The band is tragically stuck in the middle of the road; not pop enough for Avril fans, not punk enough of Blink fans, and if it's not punk enough for Blink-182, what's the point? (1 star out of 5)

Luke Slisz is a senior at John Marshall High School. To respond to reviews in Sound &; Vision, call 252-1111, category TEEN (8336); write Teen Beat, Post-Bulletin, P.O. Box 6118, Rochester, MN 55903-6118 or send e-mail to

What To Read Next
Get Local