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The Mercies
The Mercies
Recordbabies!


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.

-Josh Page


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Mike Doughty



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