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CD REVIEW: Prima Donna - Bless this Mess (Acetale Records)

By: Cyrus Rhodes




Artist: Prima Donna

Album: Bless This Mess

Label: Acetale Records

Genre: Alternative Rock, Punk Rock    

Sounds Like: Jett, Brandon Flowers, Franz Ferdinand, The Killers, Green Day

Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 9/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 8/10
Best Song: Let the Games Begin, Bless this Mess, Maxine

Weakness:  More Solos Please, a few winded Songs



Prima Donna are a hot 5 piece Punk Rock band from Hollywood, Southern California. Band members include: Kevin Tyler Preston (Vocals/Guitar), Aaron Minton (Keys/Sax), David S. Field  Drums), Erik Arcane (Guitar), and "LIGHTS OUT" Levine (Bass). Their latest CD entitled “Bless this Mess” was released in 2012 (Acetale Records)

The CD kicks things off with “Sociopath” a rocking intro piece that serves up driving rock rhythm, against infectious groove and heartfelt vocals from Preston. Track 2 “Maxine” serves up impressive follow-up piece delivers a more in your face rock grove with its mesmerizing melody and thought provoking lyrical content that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. Track 3 “Feral Children” shifts gears a bit with its methodical low end intro impressive vocals and harmonies against a grand slam chorus. As the CD quickly unfolds I can hear influences ranging from Jett, Brandon Flowers, Franz Ferdinand, The Killers and even Green Day. The music has everything you would expect from a high-energy Alternative Rock/Punk release. Besides the standard 4 piece delivery you will also notice impressive vocal harmonies, keyboards, Saxophone, rocked out guitar all build upon a thick as a solid rhythmic foundation. The musical style refuses to be pinned down and offers a wide range of musical depth with elements of Alternative Rock, Pop, and even a splash of Classic Punk. Preston’s vocal style works extremely well with this confines of this 12 song catalogue. He takes many vocal risks throughout indicating to me a strong and confident vocal ability. The rhythm section - lays down the low end groove thick as a brick, and the vocal harmonies are to die for. What I like most about the music is the very consistent songwriting. Like a heavy weight boxer the strong song line-up keeps coming at you one after the other - with no sign of letting up. From rocking “Broken” and Miss Avenue” to melodic “Let the Games Begin” to the slamming title track to grooving “Starring Daggers” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 12 “She Says” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.   

I normally dedicate this paragraph to any weaknesses found. As you can see I have nothing major to report. I will however say I do wish I heard more ripping solos throughout (Keyboards, Guitar, and Saxophone). All songs over 3.5 minuters tend to drag you to the finish line.  

This latest CD teaser from “Prima Donna” is a solid and consistent musical statement from start to finish. Its strength – the consistent song for song line-up that keeps coming at you. I will go on record to say there’s not a weak piece on this entire catalogue, and with 12 songs, Bless this Mess comes fully loaded. No doubt these guys are a total riot to check out live in the back clubs of Hollywood and beyond.

Cyrus Rhodes