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Have Mercy - The Earth Pushed Back (Cover Artwork)

Have Mercy

Have Mercy: The Earth Pushed BackThe Earth Pushed Back (2013)
Topshelf Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: BryneBryne
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On The Earth Pushed Back, the J. Robbins-produced debut from Baltimore's Have Mercy, the band spin a couple new yarns on a fairly familiar sound, successfully creating a dynamic between heartfelt emo and austere post-hardcore that's never too much of one or the other. Not an easy feat. Brian Swin.
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On The Earth Pushed Back, the J. Robbins-produced debut from Baltimore's Have Mercy, the band spin a couple new yarns on a fairly familiar sound, successfully creating a dynamic between heartfelt emo and austere post-hardcore that's never too much of one or the other. Not an easy feat.

Brian Swindle's vocals are the perfect balance of gritty and melodic, and he shines almost immediately on opener "Level Head," rising and falling seamlessly with the music around him. "Ancient West" features the rhythm section more prominently, with perpetually crashing cymbals and a louder-than-usual, distorted bass. Like much of the record, it sort of sounds like what would happen if Jimmy Eat World and Small Brown Bike formed a megaband.



Have Mercy succeed at ballads, too: "Hell" keeps a relatively quiet profile before Swindle elevates his vocals into something far more cathartic; "Weak at the Knees" is an anthemic love song with a huge chorus; "Let's Talk About Your Hair" is a standout track through its interesting percussion and subtle tempo changes; some female backup vocals, along with a piano and some strings in "Living Dead" add a nice touch to an already solid song.

The Earth Pushed Back ends on a few high notes, figuratively and literally. There's some subtly intricate guitar interplay in "The Gates" that showcases just a little bit of what sets Have Mercy apart from some of their contemporaries while maintaining the established catchiness. Swindle shines on "Cigarettes and Old Perfume," his voice reaching heights mostly unseen on the rest of the album, including a distantancing production effect that's, well, pretty effective.

Closer "When I Sleep" is relatively concise, adding a nice layer of acoustic guitars for depth and filling the empty spaces with a lot of cymbal hits and soloing. It's probably the most cloying song on the record, but not overly so; the same could be said for much of The Earth Pushed Back, which should please post-hardcore and emo fans alike.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
AtomicCharge (August 18, 2013)

This album is powerful, amazing. I've been listening for a month straight and i can see myself listening to this album for the next 5 years

Renaldo69 (June 13, 2013)

Pretty solid record

davebrave4 (June 7, 2013)

Title makes me want to listen to "And the Earth Died Screaming."

VinceMcMahon (June 5, 2013)

i'm too old for this stuff anymore

Icapped2pac (June 4, 2013)

Well said. I think "Ancient West" is my favorite.

mattpants (June 4, 2013)

Pretty solid effort I'd say.

danperrone (June 4, 2013)

and by record i mean EP.

danperrone (June 4, 2013)

pretty good album. sounds exactly like balance and composure's first record.

danwazz (June 4, 2013)

Amazing alum. Came out of nowhere for me and hooked me in. The end of "This Old Ark" gets me every time.

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