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Wednesday, August 23, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 66, Issue 3 

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Punk/ska quartet, Mest, focuses on image, not music on debut album


Mest

Wasting Time
Maverick Records

2 stars


By Rattaya Nimibutr
Daily Cougar Staff

One could say Blink-182 has brought the punl sound out of the garage and into the mainstream. But in doing so, it's become a puppet of MTV -- ditching its true essence in the process.

There may be bands just like Blink-182, bands itching for a shot. But are they really just itching for Total Request Live fame and the money that goes with it, or is it the music that's still important?

For the new Maverick band, Mest, one can only hope it's for the music.

Mest consists of the typical four-man team: Tommy Lovato and Jeremiah Rangel, each on vocals and guitar, Matt Lovato on bass and Nick Gigler on drums.

They are young, energetic and tattooed. With the release of the debut album, Wasting Time, these guys are hoping to crawl out of Blink-182's shadow.

The 14-track album starts with the blasting punk rock number, "Long Days Long Night." The song is followed by "Hotel Room," where Mest begins to showcase a stream of puppy-love songs littered with odd humor.

"What's the Dillio?" is the band's first single on the airwaves. The catchy lyrics may not be great, but they fit well with the music. They mix well with the combination of ska and punk rock.

"Random Arrival" is about looking at a girl without her noticing you. Mest fully engages itself with its respective instruments.

"Richard Marxism" is basically the same song but with different chords.

"Slow Motion," starts a little differently, but then quickly becomes another ordinary track.

"Lonely Days" has Mest whining about being lonely. This comes off as just another high-school whinefest more than a sincere emotional moment.

"Electric Baby," gets mildly charged with massive rock moves while "Change" flows with the normal ska/punk beat. "Drawing Board" becomes your normal Fitzgerald's mosh pit number. "Girl For Tonight," a song about begging someone to stay, leaves the listener with raunchy imagery.

Mest knows what it's doing and loves doing it. The thing is that it just doesn't know how to climb out of the teen punk-rock style. While it knows how to rock and beat out those guitar riffs, it's falling too hard into the teenybop stage.

Wasting Time becomes a big stretched-out album with indiscernible songs. None of the songs have any concrete identity. Mest can be better than this, but it has to avoid the image and focus on the music.
 

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