The Messthetics Bring Back The Smoking Hot Rock Instrumental

One of the biggest problems with contemporary Rock is that there aren’t enough instrumentals anymore. Instrumentals played a big part in the development of Rock, going back to the early days of Rock & Roll when tracks like Link Wray’s “Rumble” and Booker T. & The MG’s “Green Onions” broke all the rules and inspired thousands of young musicians to do the same. Even during the Classic Rock era we had all kinds of instrumental masterpieces like Edgar Winter’s “Frankenstein” and Led Zep’s “Moby Dick” to bang our heads to.

Instrumentals give the listener breathing space in between a barrage of wordy songs, and in a playlist they can help bridge the gap between Rock and other genres like Jazz, Blues and World Music. I think there’s a couple of reasons why we don’t see very many of them anymore. For one thing, Rock musicians generally aren’t as skilled on their instruments as they used to be, and for another, listeners generally don’t have the patience to sit through wordless music like they used to. A Rock instrumental is pretty much an old-fashioned concept in 2018.

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There are still instrumental bands out there like Explosions In The Sky, Mogwai, and Godspeed You Black Emperor, but they tend to be more atmospheric and chill, a lot closer to movie soundtracks than they are to Rock & Roll. But last week I heard the first single from a new instrumental band with the great name of The Messthetics, and it’s a genuine kick-ass Rock instrumental that conjures up Jeff Beck’s heyday.

The Messthetics aren’t really “new” new. They feature Brendan Canty on drums and Joe Lally on bass, the rhythm section from the late great post-punkers Fugazi, who disbanded way back in 2002. In 2016 they hooked up with avant-garde jazz guitarist Anthony Pirog who, in Canty’s words was a “virtuoso who loves noise”. Together they’ve recorded a self-titled album that’s coming out next month, and if this first single is any indication it will be one smoking hot record. It’s truly refreshing and even thrilling to hear three brilliant Rock musicians really letting ‘er rip like this.

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