I've been listening to the Deathwish reissue of Mercy a lot lately and it's such a shame they didn't get this album sounding this great when it first came out. I must admit that for the longest time I was kind of disappointed with it. It took a while to realise that some of their very best work was buried in there, but where their finest early work (Knife In The Marathon and Fuck With Fire) was powered by that ragged, live-in-studio production that captured a proper intense chaos that battled with the melodies buried in the noise, Mercy always felt thin, and strangely muted. So a track like Never Felt Prettier worked better than most because it was probably the most flat-out tuneful song they ever wrote, but something like Crooked Mile or To Spit A Sparrow never quite hit the heights it should have.
Hearing them in a new context though, guitars pushed forward, punchier, louder, this album is a belter. Reminded me of just how much I love this band. I remember when I first bought Fuck With Fire when I was 16, and being so bowled over by it that I spent hours painstakingly inking the skull logo and lettering on to my Airwalk backpack, and copying the full lyrics from the title track in edgy typewriter font. I wasn't cool.
Does anyone feel like talking about Planes Mistaken For Stars in 2016? We could talk about Gared O'Donnell's painfully underrated/completely ignored Hawks And Doves as well. (0 replies)