Daisyhead/Have Mercy - Split [EP] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Daisyhead / Have Mercy

Split [EP] (2014)

No Sleep Records

If you're a fan of Daylight or Balance and Composure, then you'd dig this. Two tracks apiece from bands which pivot around genres of grunge, post-hardcore and emo and which manage to come off pretty powerful with a mainstream appeal. It's a sound piece of contemporary rock which shows these bands have a great deal of promise, in the least.

Daisyhead proved to be the biggest surprise on this split. Didn't know much about them but they complement Have Mercy so well on this record. "Dishonest" revels in a gritty, melodic aura built around crunching guitars and a screeching musical feel. There's so much emotion in their music that adds another name to the stable of bands plugging away at this emo brand currently. "Wonder" follows suit with a sincere ballad-esque intro that signals a heartfelt love song, but then they vary the tempo and add a bit more flair to the mix. Dynamic guitar interplay allows them to flex out to a rougher and tougher sound. Expansive vocals, elevated choruses and top-notch production help create a cleaner sound than Have Mercy's, giving a great balance to the split.

Have Mercy follows the same path of Daisyhead but a big exception is that Brian Swindle's vocals lead their sound a bit more. It's throaty and then clean at different points and switching up his vocal gears really brings a welcome dimension to their sound. "Pete Rose and Babe Ruth" feels like it belonged on The Earth Pushed Back, which really brought Have Mercy into the 2013 limelight. Its catchy amid a prominent distorted vibe, which builds further on the twinkly rhythm set in the intro. It's a nice throwback for fans of Sainthood Reps and Citizen, with another blend of interchanging guitars and crisp drum work. "Pawn Takes Rook" is a similar sound but with a bigger crescendo at the end that allows Swindle to flourish alongside a post-hardcore rush. He obliges with a grainy vocal set that spews on inner assessment and retrospection.

It's a very emotional album filled with crafty narratives from bands that have a lot to offer. The record's pretty polished and prides itself on both bands' highly accessible sounds. It's effective, charismatic and definitely a clear sign of great things to come. If you weren't into them before, note these bands because they're rolling on with a driving and succinct sound, which is bound to be knocking on doors pretty soon.