Have Mercy

A Place Of Our Own

Written by: PP on 26/11/2014 23:45:26

Let's not kid ourselves; "The Earth Pushed Back" was a masterpiece of the kind that bands are only able to write once during their career. It was an album that thrust Have Mercy into the spotlight at once through its excruciatingly emotional lyrical universe that allowed its listener to really feel the emotional pain of their vocalist Briand Swindle. His raw and brutally torn vocal performance was a sublime vessel for the tortured, introverted story of a man falling head over heels for a girl and not being able to have her in the end, and resulted in indie-flavored, atmospheric alternative rock songs that drew equally much from post-hardcore as they did from emo. Kind of like a perfect merge between the echoing soundscapes of The Dangerous Summer and the instrumental beauty of Balance & Composure material with hints to other bands in the mix as well.

A little over a year later we're standing here with their sophomore album "A Place Of Our Own", which for all intents and purposes is basically "The Earth Pushed Back" version two, except slightly less impressive the second time around. The vocal performance of Swindle is still nothing short of awe-inspiring; his ability to effortlessly shift between somber singing and gravelly almost-screams is second to none in this scene. Lyrically, the theme is still very similar to its predecessor: boy meets girl, girl doesn't like boy, boy searches in vain ways to reach out to her...except this time around, it feels like Swindle is talking to the same girl as on the previous album but now with some more distance, perhaps even more a new relationship? It's an interesting angle that ties together the thematics of the debut album with a new perspective without straying too far from the original idea.

Instrumentally, we're still solidly in Balance & Composure territory, where especially closing track "Lean" sounds almost like a carbon copy of something off "The Things We Think We're Missing". Fortunately, the more atmospheric approach of this song isn't used as much on the record overall, and instead we're safely within the Have Mercy realm of combining emo, indie, and post-hardcore together in a seamless manner. Intricate, slow, soul-searching rock songs with an emotional twist and absolutely brilliant vocal performance, that's the best way to sum up "A Place Of Our Own". And given the minimal variation from the debut album, there's basically no way you won't also fall big time for this album if it was at all up your alley. Here, "Two Years", "Howl", "Plastic Covered Furniture" and many others on the record impress with their fragile emotional state, yet explode out the gates with distortion and loud, nearly screamed vocals at perfect timings to make sure there's plenty of longevity to be found on this record. So while "A Place Of Our Own" isn't a masterpiece, it's still a rock solid album that proves Have Mercy weren't a one album wonder but are here to stay, especially given how quickly it was released as a follow-up to one of the most critically acclaimed albums of 2013.

8

Download: Two Years, Howl, Plastic Covered Furniture, Lean,
For the fans of: Balance & Composure, The Dangerous Summer, The Jealous Sound, Picture Perfect, Strange Vacation
Listen: Facebook

Release date 27.10.2014
Hopeless Records

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