July 31, 2021

DANNY ELFMAN – ‘Big Mess’

Although in these parts he is basically known as a composer of the soundtracks of such famous films as Nightmare Before Christmas, Batman, Eduardo Mannostieras O Men In Black, in the 80’s Danny Elfman had already known the success as head of Oingo Boingo.

That strange band halfway between ska, new wave and performance was, and still is, a true cult phenomenon especially in Southern California, so it is not surprising that it was Epitaph, through their ANTI- sub-label, the one chosen to publish his first solo album in, grab you, 37 years!
Obviously with how well he has made a living working for the film industry, it is clear that the motivation for making this album was not economic, but an artistic need to express himself again through songs. And it is that despite how eclectic and disconcerting it may be at times Big MessThe good thing is that Elfman has worked to get all the juice out of that format.

Throughout his 18 tracks, the Californian invites us to ride an unbraked wagon through his particular amusement park. Although at times it will be familiar to you (‘Happy’ or ‘Choose Your Side’ have the typical choruses and melodies of his films with Tim Burton), in most cases, Elfman surprises you with registers that you would not expect from a man 68-year-old, and some pretty tough guitars courtesy of Robin Finck (NIN, G’N’R) and Nili Brosh (Tony MacAlpine, Paul Gilbert). The drums are put on by Josh Freese, watch out.

Washed down with a Frank Zappa scent, and some original string arrangements, Big Mess is a genius ‘nightmare come true, ranging from industrial rock to’ Devil Take Away ‘,’ True ‘,’ Serious ‘Ground’, ‘Everybody Loves You’, where he approaches the Bowie of the 90s, to the roll crooner from ‘We Belong’, to songs like ‘Cruel Compensation’ or ‘Kick Me’, which would be ideal for Mike Patton to sing.

As one day it occurs to him to make an album together, they can blow our minds.

MARC LÓPEZ