Disheveled Cuss is the side project of Nick Reinhart, who primarily plays the guitar for Tera Melos, a band that makes music through highly advanced guitar techniques and effects. Tera Melos blends geometric math rock with glitchy noise elements. It’s experimental, deeply intricate and unique. Something this debut release shares little similarity with.
Disheveled Cuss uses simple yet effective song structures, a style of hook-driven power-pop that’s easy to consume and enjoy. Heavily influenced by the grunge and alt-rock landscape of the 90’s.
Starting track “Generic Song About You” recalls early Weezer with a simple verse-chorus structure and walls of distortion. The lyrics share a story of someone trying to pick themselves up from the ashes of a dead relationship. With equal parts regret, spite and sadness. “She Don’t Want” is filled with pop-punk with math rock embellishments, but it’s greatest strength lies in the layers of guitars intricately woven in the solo. Nothing too fancy here, just variations of the main melody. It’s straightforward yet highly engaging.
Although most of this album’s songs are aggressive and fueled by walls of noise, there are small tender moments within that rounds up its emotional core. “Fawn” talks of coming home to a tragedy : “Climbed out and found the way back home / Walked in to see my dot, my love / Without the sounds you breathe I’m nothing”. The song ends with a bittersweet recorded message. “Oh My God” finds Reinhart in a state of stupor. The combination of discordant riffs and rambling vocals depicts someone in a state of confusion: “Oh my god / How am I so fucked?”
The final tracks seem to revolve around summer. The guitars in “Don’t Paint the Sun” are thickly layered and almost overbearing. Like going outside in the sweltering heat, the kind where the road seems to boil and fizzle. “Shut Up” uses elaborate riffs and sun-kissed melodies all in the service of telling someone to shut it. The album ends with the dynamic “Surf-101”. Aqueous, clean riffs alternate with tides of heavy distortion. A blistering of heat that is interspersed by a cool and easy breeze. A perfect summer anthem for the beach.
Disheveled Cuss may only be a side project, but it has the same passion and dedication as other established groups have. If you’re itching for that 90’s fix with a great nostalgia for summers where you were free to relax and explore, if you’re longing for guitar music that was blasting on the radio during that era, then this is a definitive pick-up.