Hobart’s resident punks A. Swayze & the Ghosts’ latest release Mess of Me is an aggressive tune which frolics in your mind long after the first listen. In traditional punk style, its lyrics dance around serious issues whilst the rapid, heavy drums and distorted guitars whip up an exciting frenzy one might struggle to stay detached from.
Mess of Me is a charming track with a playful beat that it centres around, even as the song seems to energetically burst apart. Coming off the rolling guitars into the Joe Strummer-esque vocals of frontman Andrew Swayze, the energy within his voice and grumbly tone unflinchingly delivers lyrics about psychological inheritance and negative patterns of behaviour.
Swayze describes the natural development of meaning within the lyrics saying, “Hendrik (guitarist) brought the song to us with the chorus ‘you’re always trying to make a mess of me’. Since I don’t have any saboteur but myself, I changed his lyrics and wrote the rest around the new chorus.”
The accompanying monochromatic, groundhog day-like video directed by Nick Green explores those negative behaviours we carry into adulthood.
Since A.Swayze & the Ghosts first emerged with their 2017 self-titled EP, they’ve stuck to releasing tunes only once a year. Hopefully, this is a habit they can break in 2020, as it’s about time we were gifted with an album from one of Australia’s obvious successors to the now-defunct City Calm Down.