Mesa Cosa: Ya Ya Brouhaha

Taking a latin left turn from garage-pop may have been the wrong direction.

- Melbourne garage-punk outfit Mesa Cosa’s first long-player offering Ya Ya Brouhaha consists of nine tracks of the kind of charmingly inoffensive Australian punk rock common in the teen years of the second millenium. Also common with this new wave of Aussie punk, their sound is tight, dripping with surf-inspired bass and wholly standard, which can be in part attributed to their fantastic recording and mastering team of Paul Maybury, Mikey Young (Eddy Current Suppression Ring / Total Control) and Nao Anzai (Nunchukka Superfly / No Zu). What separates these guys from bands like Velociraptor (besides lacking Jeremy Neale) is their unabashed fetish for all the nice things about Mexico, clear in everything from the band’s name, the album’s title and tracks Santanas, Bruja, La Rasa and Inocente. There’s obviously not much distinctly Australian about Dia dos los Muertas and burritos, so I was nonplussed as to the nationality Mesa Cosa has decided to make their cultural point of reference. Fetish is the right word; while Mesa Cosa are singing about the devil and probably creepy skeletons in Spanish, they don’t grasp anything significant about Mexican culture beyond a caricature of what makes Mexican parties ‘cool’. The tracks Bad Blood and Creepy are supposed to be their token dark, menacing punk tunes, an ideal they just fall short of. Ya Ya Ya, Why Yo and Santanas are indie-punk party songs written to keep people dia de los dancing, and the stand-out Sydney is not so much about loyalty to Melbourne than it is about how the women of Sydney don’t much like these dirty gringos (nb. have a feeling they’d love to be called ‘dirty gringos’, you can use that boys).

I did my homework and discovered that Mesa Cosa consider themselves to be the likely result if ‘The Birthday Party and The Dead Kennedys had a baby’ (no points for cliches), an argument with no grounding. They lack the auteur brooding genius of both Nick Cave and Jello Biafra, not to mention the political, emotional and sexual vitriol. First impressions often fix perceptions and expectations of an artist, and if that is true then we can expect some big parties and some good gigs from Mesa Cosa, but no lasting impact.

- Matt Hall.

Album Details

Album Title: Ya Ya Brouhaha
Artist: Mesa Cosa
Record Label: (Off The Hip)