The Mishaps - Get Away Volume (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Mishaps

Get Away Volume (2002)

Scissor Press

There's really two directions the Mishaps can go from here. Their debut EP "Get Away Volume" shows promise but also worries me as to where the band will take their sound.

One one hand the Mishaps have a serious rockabilly fetish. There's a lot of songs here that remind me of The Living End, Nekromantix and Tiger Army. Johnny Bungalow plays a standard electric bass but plays rhythmically enough to up for the absence of an upright. What I love about rockabilly/punk hybrids is their acknowledgement of their musical roots. The problem on this EP is the Mishaps don't sound like a band inspired by the Sun Records roster or even revivalist acts like Stray Cats or the Reverend Horton Heat; They sound like a band inspired by The Living End. Not that this is a fault (I like the Living End), but the further a sound gets from its musical origins the easier it is to loose focus of them.

Its this that I think could lead the band down the generic pop punk path. Sure the few pop tunes here, "Jenny" and "Anything For You," are fun and catchy. In actuality the snarl in Neal Page's vocals and the conviction the band plays with give them that edginess they need. However the slightest touch of studio gloss could easily loose those redeeming qualities.

The band really shines with their punk-rockabilly tracks. "Generator" brings to mind Tiger Army (sans the Lovecraftian imagery). Likewise the vocals on "JNS" remind me of Kim Nekroman (sans the dead-Elvis impression). "Out Of Control" and "Mr. Wellington" drive along with a strong chugging bass line and some great group shouts much like the aforementioned Living End. The mixing on the album is a bit muddy at times, but the sparse production helps the band maintain a bit of live energy.

The trio's strength is in their rockabilly groove. It makes them interesting and would flourish if they delved into it deeper. On the other hand while the Mishaps write some catchy pop-punk they really add nothing new to the sound. As the band prepares their upcoming full length I hope they choose their musical direction wisely. It'll make the difference between an interesting band and "just another" pop-punk act.