The Mercies | The Mercies

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Pop: Power Pop Rock: College Rock Moods: Mood: Quirky
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The Mercies

by The Mercies

Unabashedly power pop, new band formed in Rochester, New York by former Longwave drummer Mike James. Somewhere along the way they ended up crafting this year's perfect summertime pop soundtrack.
Genre: Pop: Power Pop
Release Date: 

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1. Colors Of The World
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3:42 $0.99
2. You Can't Stop Me Now
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3:15 $0.99
3. People (Movin' On)
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4:53 $0.99
4. The Prettiest
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2:01 $0.99
5. (You're Not) The Only One
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3:37 $0.99
6. Break/Down/Baby
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3:44 $0.99
7. Out Of Nowhere
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3:22 $0.99
8. A Lot To Say
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4:13 $0.99
9. Walk Right Out
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3:13 $0.99
10. Even The Lonely Know
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3:16 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
"Unabashedly power pop, The Mercies are a new band formed in Rochester, New York by former Longwave drummer Mike James. Somewhere along the way they ended up crafting this year's perfect summertime pop soundtrack. Turn it up and open all the windows-they don't make records like this every day." -The Planetary Group
RIYL: Apples In Stereo, Sloan, Nada Surf

The self-titled debut record from Rochester, New York-based The Mercies may sound a bit familiar upon first listen. Considering it is a lovingly crafted encomium to punk-rock energy, stadium-rock riffage, and Brit-pop punch, it should ring familiar in your ears. It is a rare and desirable trait for a band to be able to condense so much of the music of the last 50 years into 37 action-packed minutes. The Mercies take you to a time and a place in your life where all you have to is smile, rise to a standing position, and tell the world, "You can't stop me now!!"

As the band's frontman and principle songwriter, Mike James longed to form a musical outfit capable of churning out the kind of hits that shape a generation of kids turning on their stereos for the first time, the way seminal classics such as "Touch Me" and "New York Groove" (Ace Frehley, not Hello) shaped him. His quest for that perfect sound even led him briefly behind the drumkit - in 2000, he was tabbed as the drummer for the New York City-based Longwave, a band that specialized in overt pop melody with an infusion of guitar atmospherics - think Echo and the Bunnymen meeting Pink Floyd. But by early 2004, he decided to return to Rochester and walk along a different musical path.

Most rock bands have their start in basements or garages around the country, and The Mercies are no exception. Having played together as far back as 1998, James and bassist Brandon Lown not only represent the genesis of what would ultimately become The Mercies, but also represent the requisite brothers-from-different-mothers portion of the band. A devout follower of early Beatles and Duran Duran, Lown's bass lines are an homage to Adam Clayton's steadiness and reliability - it's in the bass line that pop music draws its energy, its danger, and its sexuality.

By 2000, guitarist Adam Ford had entered the fray. Like many other kids in the early 90's, Ford heard the opening chords to Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and, feeling like he had discovered the zenith of pop music, grabbed a guitar and chased his own version of rock and roll perfection. His rhythmic style of guitar playing is one built on confidence, on swagger, on belonging. Like all the prisoners of rock and roll who have come before him, Ford looks most comfortable with his 6-string in his hands.

By 2002, the official first incarnation of The Mercies was in place. Working under the name Dick James/Footage, the band was a raw hybrid of power pop from both sides of the Atlantic. Imagine David Bowie taking Tom Verlaine's place at the helm of Television, or Eric Burdon hanging out with Eric Carmen for a weekend. In fact, make it easy on yourself - simply cross-breed Cheap Trick and The Kinks. Footage built a steady following in the Rochester area and even experimented with showing video imagery on four television sets placed at the front of the stage. However, when original members Kevin Quinn (drums) and Chris Pecoraro (keyboards) departed in early 2005, this promising band found itself in need of a versatile musician who could not only keep the beat, but could help the band manifest its vision more thoroughly.

In the mid-1990's, during the resurgence in jam-oriented rock, Jonny Stevens kept the beat for Dizzy Monk, a band that fused the jam with the sophisticated pop stylings prevalent in the 1980's. A rock and roll devotee ever since hearing the King croon on "Suspicious Minds", Stevens lent a percussive feel to Dizzy Monk's stripped down, yet melodic, offerings. When the band broke up in 1997, Stevens and Dizzy Monk frontman Chad Anderson headed to Los Angeles. While on the coast, Stevens played in bands such as Roger Moon. But by 2004, he found himself back in Rochester, looking for the next segment of his musical trajectory. Jonny Stevens and Mike James had met each other through mutual contacts in the Rochester local music scene, and had talked about potentially working together. Until this point, the right opportunity had never presented itself. But all it took Stevens was one listen to "The Slide" for him to know that this band had something, and that he wanted in. Stevens was initiated through a series of shows in Western New York throughout 2005.

Armed with over a dozen original compositions spat and polished by feverish live performances, The Mercies entered the studio in early 2006, along with producer Bill Racine. The band's unrelenting push, combined with Stevens' studio experience and Racine's wizardry behind the mixing console, made for the perfect breeding ground for a defining musical statement. By July, the band had crafted 12 songs that work just as well individually as they do in one straight listen. The vision is more defined, the sound more crystalized. Bottom line: this record simply makes you want to get up and dance! From the Dylan-sings-Clash stampede "Walk Right Out", to the soothing, Badfinger-inspired "Out Of Nowhere", to the frenetic dreaminess of "Even The Lonely Know" it's everything that good-time pop music should be. The healthy mix of Eno stomp ("People Movin' On"), shameless bravado ("You Can't Stop Me Now"), and soaring anthem ("You're Not The Only One") all serve the underlying message - get the soul stirring, and the mind and spirit will soon follow.

What does the future hold for The Mercies? A desire to present their music in any number of different formats, and an innate need to push the boundaries of power pop, lend themselves to numerous possibilities. Collaborations with Ric Ocasek? Grandiose, Spector-like productions? Stax-Volt horn accents? As long as The Mercies remain committed to rediscovering all that is great in pop music, anything can happen.


Reviews


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Garth Algar

Schwing!
This cd makes me feel funny like when we used to climb the ropes in gym class. If I were to rate this cd, I'd say that it is a Baberham Lincoln. I've only heard the record from my friend Phil. I actually haven't received my copy yet. It's in the mail along with my sports illustrated football phone and the Stanley Cup video "One Hundred Years Of Glory." You can say I'm sans Mercies. hehe. Party on......i guess

Sean Lowton-Smith

great band,great music and a great album
The mercies sound like an english band in the 60's with great songs such as colours of the world although they're from new York. The album peaks at this point as it is in my opinion there best song but after this the rest of the album is no disaointment. Songs such as the uplifting cant stop me now and the prettiest are also good. I wouldnt say there is a song on the album i particularly dislike but the songs at the end aren't quite as punchy as the first 5. i give the album three stars because it cant get 5 as it will never be an all time classic and its not a great album but it is good. It was close to 4 but never quite kept up the promising start. Overall i would say the mercies is an album worth the money but it will never be kept on the same shelf as one of your beatles or rolling stones albums.

Pamela at CD Baby


With a jaunty nod to British and American influences, The Mercies have made a record that would be right at home in the Elephant Six Collective. Cheeky keyboards dart through uncluttered kick and snare while overdriven guitars bounce along with melodies, offering a tight and tidy package of guitar pop. Just when you’re really settling in to the album, you’re pummeled with stacked, clean, multi-part harmonies, and occasional affected drums that further drive the slightly dreamy sound directly out of this atmosphere and into orbit. The record even sports a mellower acoustic track. Perhaps the most impressive part of the overall product is that The Mercies have managed to build a cohesive album that hints at the best parts of the last wave of industry changing bands (The Killers, Inerpol), but aren’t afraid to make a pure pop song that as jubilant as it is catchy.

james v. perry

very tatented
I heard the mercies live at the fairport music fest and they are a great band.My girlfriend and i really enjoyed the band and all the songs are ORIGNALS and the mercies sound great and they are great musicians. They are going to go places