A velvet goldmine of bygone garage-glam, Prima Donna’s “Bless This Mess” (Acetate Records) is a saucy cocktail of T. Rex stomp stirred with Stardust style — and then spritzed with a squeeze of Lennon.
Besides obvious – and wholly respectable – nods to the Beatles, Bowie and Bolan (“Maxine,” “Feral Children,” “Broken” and “Miss Avenue”), Prima Donna also echoes Elvis Costello (“Staring Daggers”), Iggy AND the Stooges (“Crimson Lust,” “She Says”) and even some swirling, new-wavey synth-rock reminiscent of glitz-rocking pyros, the Toilet Boys (“Sociopath” and especially “Let the Games Begin”). Lead single “Tryin’” is such a contagious, dirty gem it could color Greg Kihn envious.
In singer/guitarist Kevin Preston, the Los Angeles-based band has a charismatic frontman with a cheeky knack for such lyrical turns as “you take ’em in/ya spit ’em out/ya little reptile” and “word on the street says your ass is just a whole lotta trouble.” The rest of the band packs a tight, punchy bounce full of reckless sax (“Puta, Te Amo”), rollicking keys and Motown hand-claps in all the right places.
With former Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs mainman Frank Meyer lending backup vocals throughout, “Bless This Mess” is a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am affair that – as Preston puts it in the title track – is absolutely “the cat’s meow-ow-Wow!”
Overall Grade: A
Favorite Tracks: “Let the Games Begin,” “Broken,” “Puta, Te Amo,” “Miss Avenue,” “Tryin,” … aw, hell, basically the whole damn album!
For Fans of: David Bowie, Marc Bolan, vintage glam rock, feather boas