The Boston duo, The Mercy Brothers, bust out of the gate
on Strange Adventure with a sizzling surf track about murder.
Like most of the songs on the album, this first track showcases
blues guitar licks and Barrence Whitfield's distinctive,
powerhouse, soul vocals. The album's title is surely reflected
in the song sequencing which bounces from surf to blues to delta.
The second track sounds less Dick Dale and more Tom
Petty while the third track sounds like if Howling Wolf
had played guitar.
While the songs vary in instrumental styles, there's no lack
of train themes on this disc. Five, to be exact. There's also
an abundance of "what the hell are you looking at" cover
art if you're a fan of that. Another consistency are the guitars
of Michael Dinallo and Vidar Busk, which have no
problem dancing through the melodies and making a nice bed for
the vocals, whether it be electric, acoustic or slide. "New
Year Blues" is a beautifully fingerpicked ballad that comes
about at the perfect time of year and serves up a sweet sound.
Strange Adventure was actually released in the US in 1993.
This studio/live hybrid edition was released last year by CoraZong
Records and it includes one studio and six bonus live tracks,
which were recorded in Norway...Obviously. Not only do the live
versions showcase this Boston band's ferocious energy, they prove
that these guys can replicate the studio recordings in person.
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