Bad Copy

Horrible Girl & the Hot Mess
Record Review

Horrible Girl & the Hot Mess – Friends

A witty, upbeat goodbye of riotous Cry-Mosh Cringe-Punk

Horrible Girl & the Hot Mess

Horrible Girl & the Hot Mess - Friends

July 30, 2021
Fire Hazard Records

Horrible Girl & the Hot Mess may be suckers for a sad song, but I am a sucker for a sad song disguised as an energetic, peppy anthem. That is the backbone of their catalog, what they call Cry-Mosh Cringe-Punk. It’s also the topic of track two, “Sucker,” from their farewell EP Friends. The EP will be available starting July 30th. Fire Hazard Records will be releasing a CD/tape run of their full-length record, Do you know who your friends are (2019) with the EP included as bonus tracks. 100% of the profits will be donated to Tranzmission Prison Project, a queer- and trans-powered prison abolition organization based in Asheville, North Carolina that provides free literature and resources for incarcerated members of the LGBTQ community.

Farewells are always sad, but the EP delivers the sad message wrapped in humor, self-reflection and experimental Riot Pop. Guitar riffs and song structure come across somehow both as radio friendly Pop Punk but also complicated unruly noise. To accomplish this I hear the effects of a variety of influences: DIY Punk, Pop, Sludge, Anime intros and video games. The result reminds me a bit of Built to Spill in that way, especially the guitar solos with bells in “When does the body stop being a bird?”

Lyrics are playful and introspective. “Tony Hawk Pro Dater” describes a romantic pair where neither partner can skate; they play video games about skating together instead. “Five Easy Steps to Get in the Giant Robot” gives us descriptions of sequential droll failures but a promise that it gets better. The EP makes for a witty and upbeat way to convey something sad like a goodbye. I expected nothing less from the quintet from Greenville, SC.

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