BXRRELL already conquered 2023 as they made their presence known with debut single “Dare To”, showing off a blend of alternative and pop tones in a rock setting. It’s essentially rock by younger folk for younger folk. Now, they’ve made their triumphant return with their debut gig set for later in the year and another new single in “Mess With Me”.
Overall, it’s a more sombre affair, musically. It’s slower and more deliberate, washed in pop soundscapes and even has an 80s synth pop feel to it. Essentially, it’s the single you have to follow up the no-messing-around debut. However, the slow burn into the chorus allows it to hit all the harder when it kicks in. It’s something which continues into the guitar solo. Laced with passion and emotion, you can feel all of the hurt and anger pouring out in a torrent of frustration.
Lyrically, it hits much of the same spots that its predecessor did. The anger this time around is more subtle and feels more like they’re issuing a challenge to the wrongdoer. As a companion piece, this feels like it’s from a later stage, from a stronger person who has been through enough hurt that they won’t accept it from that person or from anyone else.
There’s subtle percussion throughout to add a brooding element to the song, acting like someone pacing the floor. However, it’s the only knock against the song where it sits a little low in the mix and is taking a bit of a backseat. That said, if they were more bombastic, you’d expect them to sit more upfront. Guitars and vocals from Sophie Burrell herself are slick and polished, the grungy tones from “Dare To” having been scraped away to make for a far leaner and cleaner sound.
“Mess With Me” continues the streak BXRRELL started this year with another great song under their belts. Having only launched this year, they’re a young and exciting band to keep an eye on. Powered by Burrell’s hypnotic and accomplished guitar work is going to make them noticed. But the rest of the band she’s got with her are going to help keep them in people’s minds as they begin to gain traction.
Header image by Liam Maxwell
“Mess With Me” is out now