Review Summary: Hardcore and stoner metal's love child.
Imagine you smoke a couple of bowls before a hardcore show. You assume there are going to be straight edge kid’s slam dancing in front of you, always running the risk of knocking your teeth in. This predisposition falls upon those who enjoy hardcore music and like to partake in a pre-game ritual, which has been proven to make almost any sort of music sound significantly more awesome. If this fictional stoner were to go to a show where Purple Mercy was playing this dilemma would soon melt away.
Purple Mercy combines hardcore vocals with stoner metal. That description seems vague yet that is the most fitting way to describe this band. Their worship of stoner culture isn’t dumb or clichéd but fits perfectly with what would sound good if you were high and liked hardcore. The songs at times can hit the 7 or 8 minute mark, the lyrics talk about conspiracy theories, and their instrumentation has a warm jam like quality to it that could easily induce a trance like state. The way the vocals are delivered is what truly keeps the band from falling into a cliché. The vocals are reminiscent of Sabertooth Zombie for the majority of the album although at times become mellower like on the song “Drifting On the Salton Sea.” This is a dynamic I rarely see in hardcore music. The closest comparison may be sludge metal but they don’t seem to fit comfortably under that term except for the fact that their arrangements are slow and they have screamed vocals. Their music is significantly less serious and draws more heavily on psychedelic influence to really be easily lumped together with bands who sound like this.
This album works best when it is played all the way through and is really absorbed. It at times runs together but does so significantly less than most hardcore releases you’re likely to pick up. The longer songs like “Drifting on the Salton Sea,” “Holy Vultures (Multiversal Mind Axe),” and “Cashed Hit” are where the band really hits their stride. These songs allow the band to seamlessly combine their previously mentioned elements without sounding awkward or forced. The album is moves at a slow pace, which might be a bit much for people who like a type of music that is known for turning out short songs as well as short albums. However this is one of those releases that gets better once you listen to it few times. The album shows that Purple Mercy offers an interesting perspective on hardcore that’s worth a listen. If nothing else, it easily has the best song names that any stoner band has ever dreamed up.