Album #96: Messed Up – Everything You Believe In

  • Released: 2019
  • Origin: Grodno, Belarus
  • Label: Audiolith
  • Best Track: Blind Faith

I’ve become intrigued recently by the nation of Belarus. Probably the most oppressive country in Europe, not to mention the most bonkers, their response to the COVID-19 has really highlighted how oddly they do things in this secretive former Soviet state. Not only are they one of the only countries in the world still running their football season, but their president insists nobody has died of the coronavirus in the nation, and nobody will!

Forming an all-girl punk band in a place like this is pretty radical, so I thought I’d give some airtime to riot grrl outfit Messed Up’s second album Everything You Believe In. For a start, I love the cover for this, depicting a deluded woman believing she’s in a utopia despite her surroundings of slums, broken bottles and police brutality.

I feel like I lose a lot from this music by not understanding the lyrics, which by all accounts are on lefty and feminist themes, but the band are accomplished enough. Singer Nastya Kapytok has a great, gravelly voice, as is evident from the opening track ‘Around Me’ and album highlight ‘Blind Faith’. The album closes with its only English language song, a decent stab at a cover of/riposte to The Stooges’ ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’.

I wanted to like this record, and I did, even if it’s nothing special. More remarkable than the music itself is the fact that Messed Up, like Russia’s Pussy Riot, have the courage to form, play shows, release music and generally throw a spanner in the works of the state.

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