Mercy Union “The Quarry”
We’re not sure what actually constitutes a ‘super group’ but the fact that Mercy Union consists of members of The Gaslight Anthem and The Scandals should be enough to attract a pretty strong immediate fan base.
Opening number “Young Dionysians” is just one of the best first songs we’ve heard on a rock album for some time. Together with “Fever Dreams” it confirms that this release will be loved by those fans. Together with numbers like “Silver Dollars” and “Reverse” there is that same blue collar rock sound that has the best elements of punk rock and Americana. Kind of like Lucero or maybe Springsteen on steroids!
Although Mercy Union seem even more intent on not hiding their love of melody. Tracks like “Chips And Vics” and “Accessory” are the sorts of songs we dream of being played on radio stations in the UK. But sadly, there is little chance of that, despite the strong melodies and huge hooks. Instead, you will probably have to make do with blasting songs like “Twenty Seven” out on your car stereo and singing them at the top of your voice.
Like The Gaslight Anthem, there is also a greater texture to the band’s sound than some more rudimental American rock bands. There’s a more bluesy feel to the crawling “Baggy” and “Layovers” will get even the most hardened rockers swaying and weeping. There’s a real alternative edge to “The Quarry” which again makes the track stand out against other songs that may fall in to this genre of music.
It may be a bit simple to say that if you love either The Gaslight Anthem or The Scandals then you will love this…but that’s the simple truth. That’s not to undermine Mercy Union or this release though. The fact that this stands up to those band’s releases says a lot about the quality of this record. Lots of bands have sought to copy the success of the Gaslight Anthem in particular, but not come close. This on the other hand can be held up against some of their best stuff which is no mean feat.