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Paul Messis has been busy making the rounds with The Higher State, of which he is now the only member apart from founder Marty Radcliffe (The Mystreated). Finally, Messis has returned with a new solo single, this time on his own label Market Square. With a string on brilliant 45s and two LPs on labels like 13 O’Clock and State he has built a solid reputation for himself, but he still does not have a band. Working the one-man-band sound to its limits, Messis has turned out what I believe is his best single yet – combining all the aspects of his sound with a cleverly nonchalant vocal. In particular, the b-side “As Time Rolls By” is a fine piece of songwriting. The first 100 copies come with the yellow photocopied sleeve above.

Everyone might not be familiar with the fact that Messis is also the artist behind the Suburban Homes moniker which has received quite a bit of attention after their initial 45, also released on Market Square. Punk labels around the world paid attention and Total Punk snapped them up for their new release “Conformity In the UK”. For Messis it has been a relief to work on these much simpler and straightforward tunes, and he has managed to squeeze a fair bit of aggression and frustration in there. Let’s just hope that is not the only driving force behind his music, or we will stop culling the fruits of his labour as soon as things start to look up in the world. On second thought, that is not bound to happen any time soon.

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October 7, 2015

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