Mercy Arms - Mercy Arms (2008)

“Who? Where? When? What? Why? Questions that need answers. Answers that raise more questions. I pick myself up out of the cold, hard, gutter. I usually land on my feet.”

Mercy Arms are as keen as mustard. Drawing from bands like The Smiths and Ride, they fashion sweeping songs for an era in which romance is waning. Thom Moore sings melodiously with a confident falsetto, Kirin J. Callinan wields his guitar like a monstrous noise maker, while bassist Ash and drummer Julian create the basis for Moore’s and Callinan’s talents to blossom.

There’s nothing pompous about their debut, it’s filled with 10 solid pop players. Perhaps the record lacks uniqueness, they follow their influences closely. However, their tuneful and genuine execution offsets this minor quandary.

“Half Right” sounds positively full-bodied. Every instrument is assuredly crisp. Julian Sudek swiftly and succinctly bangs at the percussion, while Callinan’s guitar melodies ring joyously.

Thom Moore’s vocals in “Footsteps” hush sweetly, “I can still hear your footsteps, treading lightly down the corridor”. The chorus is symphonic, bells and drums surge romantically.

Mercy Arms wrote a song for MIX 106.5 called “To Me Now”. “Kilby” quickly restores the record’s quality and thwarts any doubts that Mercy Arms are overflowing with cheese.

“Caroline”’s hushed-vocal/guitar-bellow verse looks something like this in print:
“Take me dooowwn to-ward the shore-line in the night.”
“The sky, she sleeps but for a sin-gle dull light.”
It’s a stark contrast, but it works. The heartbeat drumming is a nice touch too.

“Firing Line” invokes vivid imagery of trenches and warfare, “I often hear the call/ Of the infantry men as they fall/ To the depths of me”. It concludes with an epic guitar solo, grandiose and sprawling.

All's not lost, there are still musicians who endorse romance and uphold sincerity, thankfully.

(78 - SM)
Combined Rating = 77


Anonymous said...

Dimity said...

woops it seems all is lost as there are rumours galore that they broke up! Side projects are sweet though. Fashion Launches Rocket Launches (depsite atrocious name) are wonderful and there's Kirin J Callinan doing his solo thing.

Arlen Ivory said...

As long as Kirin keeps making music.