Various - Mercy for None: A Hardcore Complilation [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)


Mercy for None: A Hardcore Complilation [7 inch] (2009)


For better or worse, compilations no longer hold the same place in punk and hardcore as they did ten years ago. From label comps like the classic Fat Wreck and Hopeless series (there I go showing my age) to style-based entries like The Emo Diaries, there was a time when these overloaded and underpriced treasures were the key to many a young punk's introduction to the scene. These `80s and `90s workhorses still exist, but nowadays with that asshole known as the "internet," they aren't nearly as vital or as eye-opening as they once were. That said, this 7", a six-band hardcore set from Reaper Records makes the case that comps can be both worthwhile and rewarding.

Of course the point of compilations is the bands and after a KRS-One spoken intro, this 7" kicks off with Naysayer from Richmond with a song very reminiscent of Shipwreck without the studio polish. The song is short and quickly fades out into Wilkes-Barre's Bad Seed playing a heavy New York hardcore style with a breakdown that reminds me of something Trapped Under Ice would do. CA's Absolute Magnitude closes out the side with "Frozen Face," a thrashy mix of `80s hardcore with modern heaviness.

Unforgiven (CT) starts side B with a bass intro and a heavy Integrity-inspired track "Switching Sides" before laying down the heaviest breakdown on either side. Brick from Baltimore is sandwiched on this side with their contribution "Human Hands, Devil's Mind," which sounds less frantic than their new 7" on Panic Records. L.A.'s Alpha & Omega close it out with, fittingly, the slowest song on the comp, "Faded Path." It sounds a little bit like the Converge song "Black Rose / Grim Heart" with its thick chords and howling sung vocals, before picking up the pace into a solid hardcore sound complete with a guitar solo and Biohazard-esque closing.

This 7" is a nice look at some of the best up-and-coming bands in hardcore, all in a package that shows much more effort than the usual slapped-together comp. Keeping the length to six bands helps its relevancy and makes for a product that is actually worth owning and checking out.