Storming out of Rochester, New York is a sound unfamiliar to many
of today's youthful music listeners. It's pure. It's simple. It's
honest. It's not covered up or bogged down with over-production. And
it's incredibly refreshing. And who is behind this strange new sound?
Little known foursome The Mercies are the culprits, and while
their self-titled debut could be compared to modern day acts like
Death Cab For Cutie, the real apparent inspiration can be linked
back to the British Invasion... back when rock was just about making
music, before genres came to over-categorize, complicate and confine
artists into specific boundaries.
The Mercies keep it more or less simple throughout their 10 song
debut. The first two tracks, "Colors Of the World" and "You
Can't Stop Me Now", in particular, pay homage to classic rock
with quick guitar licks and sing-song lyrics that are very reminiscent
of The Beatles. The Mercies have crafted a wonderful set of
songs that feature catchy, yet not cliché-ridden lyrics; "Walk
Right Out" will be immediately stuck in your head (and that's
not a bad thing).
However, the quartet don't let their music sound too old-fashion
or overtly familiar, combining a more modern rock edge to the stripped
and raw sound of the past. "(You're Not) The Only One" features
a heavy sound thanks to aggressive percussion while "Break/Down/Baby"
travels at a fast tempo putting the vocals in the background while
the instrumentals occupy the foreground, calling comparisons to modern
acts like The Killers. "Out Of Nowhere" harkens to
traditional, fire-side acoustic jams, turning into a refreshing surprise
in this collection of high-energy and up-tempo tracks.
One look at the album and you might feel eager to lump The Mercies
with the rest of the indie-rock revival bands of recent years, but
after one listen it becomes apparent that they are so much more than
that. They're starting a minor revolution and an ode to what music
used to be. Opening up the jacket sleeve, the saying "To be played
at maximum volume" greets the listener in capital letters, and
the order is a wise one. But one must be careful, because once you
start blasting The Mercies your other CDs will surely collect a thick
layer of dust.
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