Like everything that The Mess Hall have ever committed to record,
Devil's Elbow, their second full release, fails to capture the
intensity of the band's live performance.
The lead track and first single Keep Walking packs a heavy punch
and Cookie - the album highlight - gets to the brink of exploding
on numerous occasions before bringing itself together. Both come
over as watered down versions of what the duo is able to produce
There are more ballads on this record than the band have attempted
before. They are strengthened in this area with an expansion in
instrument arsenal which helps them create a fuller sound, as well
as giving them more room to move within the song.
This record is best suited as an accompaniment to relive the
band's show the night before. Let's hope it sells well enough that
they are able to perform these songs on stages all across the
country. After all - that's where they belong.