Review Summary: Just another Aussie hardcore record.
These two words shine very clear when listening to the debut from the Sydney-based hardcore group Hand of Mercy. Listening to this record is much like listening to a Parkway Drive CD. You get the breakdowns, you get the growls, the cleans, all the things that make these records so accessible to young teens.
Unlike their successful counterparts however, there isn't as many catchy hooks. Very simply put, this has very bland, generic lyrics.
All you stood for has turned to dust
As you walked away and turned your back on us
Our anger just turns to shame
I let you into my life and I've only got myself to blame"
This excerpt from the beginning of 'Sick for It' demonstrates this well. Whilst the lyrics obviously mean something to the band, they come across as overly angsty. Most of the songs on this album follow in this same vein, with profanities frequently being used, but not all of them do, which is thankful. For a debut, this is a good start, though it would be nice to see a few more of the songs follow in the vein of 'Ankles to the Wall', which for its generic song structure, has better lyrics than other songs on the album, simply because it feels less synthetic.
The good is outweighed by the bad quite heavily throughout this record. The screams are almost monotonous at times, and on some songs almost put you to sleep. This, coupled with the bland cleans makes some songs almost un-listenable. The band on most of the songs is rehashing ideas that have been in action for years already. Nothing new is really being brought to the table, and this is not only annoying but frustrating because sometimes the band shows that they have potential to be a new player in the Australian hardcore scene.
For such a young group, this could be a way out of their teenage-esque writing style. A way to move their followers on to a more thought out, developed record. However, there is really not much to show for that here. The breakdowns make this record monotonous, and show that this band is definitely another one of the Australian live bands. Most of the music sounds like it has been written to play live, which is just fine, except for the fact that it is boring on record.