If your tastes run to beautifully crafted melodies, virtuoso performances and you get weak at the knees for technical perfection, maybe move along. None of the above applies to Melbourne’s Mesa Cosa – in the traditional sense at least. But given that the ethos of the band, according to co-vocalist Chris Penney, is “to have fun, go on adventures, party a bunch and don’t take it too seriously,” they are definitely hitting their mark.
Satan and hectic tambourines – embrace the beautiful mess that is Mesa Cosa. As the band says “If you never learn the songs properly they never die”.
Touting themselves as scuzzy, garage punk from ‘Mexico City, Australia’, Mesa Cosa formed four years ago after guitarist Pablo was told to start a band by a tarot reader. Whether or not that spiritual beginning set a precedent, tongue-in-cheek satan references and Mexican style interjections lend a punked-up Day Of The Dead fiesta feel to Mesa Cosa’s sound. The band have gained a reputation as a party troupe; gigging relentlessly and consistently bringing a kind of crazed energy to their live shows. Even Mesa Cosa themselves don’t know how each show is going to come out before they get on stage. Penney is upfront about their laissez-faire attitude towards their performance; “I don’t think live shows should ever be the same and should definitely never be perfect. But who knows, maybe one day we’ll figure out a chord that isn’t ‘E’ and start a jazz ensemble?”[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/217027128″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]
From noise jams to broken guitars, gifted marijuana leaves and split pants, their live shows may be unpredictable, but with audiences claiming to have religious experiences during their sets, it seems that Mesa Cosa are on the fast track to rekindling a cult-like appreciation for live music. But though they may give off the impression of a shambolic mess, who still don’t know their parts after four years of playing together, behind their couldn’t-give-a-fuck exterior Mesa Cosa are pretty hardworking. As a band they tour nearly constantly, and they also founded their own DIT (do it together) touring crew, Bone Soup, to manage bespoke tours for bands they like. The crew’s reach has even expanded internationally, a smart move for a band looking to break overseas crowds. They have also recently announced a showcase at this years BIGSOUND, as well as a US tour with LA band White Fang.
Currently working on a new album, the band released new track Say No at the start of August. Thrashing drums and hectic tambourine smashes really sit forward, with slightly off kilter, yet strong guitar riffs. Guitars and stomping vocals are fuzzed together, giving the feel of a live recording or a DIY demo. Descending into an accelerated garage jam, Say No really skirts the edges of garage and punk – minus the aggression. Punked-out they might be, but Mesa Cosa aren’t out to piss anyone off. Claiming that their biggest secret influence is The B52’s, it’s all about the good times; albeit messed up, riotous good times.
And so Mesa Cosa may not be slick, they may not even be tight – and most likely they don’t even know their own songs. But as the band say “If you never learn the songs properly they never die.” And on closer inspection they have crafted the best version of what they want to be; solid music, brilliant live shows with an incredible talent for bringing a killer energy and mind blowing experiences. With a canny work ethic, belied by their good-time punk exterior, Mesa Cosa are a force to be reckoned with.