Have Mercy
Make The Best Of It


2.0
poor

Review

by ian b. USER (43 Reviews)
April 24th, 2017 | 40 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Beating a sad, uninspired, and quite dead horse.

Baltimore’s own Have Mercy have had a fairly rocky path from their inception in 2011. They released their first EP in 2012 titled My Oldest Friend and their well received Topshelf debut The Earth Pushed Back quickly followed within the next year. After a few DIY tours and word got around, they quickly were signed onto Hopeless Records’ ever-growing roster the next year. Shortly after the signing, and not even a year and a half after The Earth Pushed Back, they released their sophomore effort A Place of Our Own which featured a similar formula but was more watered down in production with the band losing a lot of its grit for a more accessible sound. The band seemed to be heading downward as the album featured a lot of seemingly half baked ideas with a muddy-samey attitude throughout the albums duration. In 2016 however, 3/4 of the band left singer Brian Swindle as the sole member of the outfit, throwing out any previous hope I had for a future release, as I figured a lot of the atmospheric instrumentals would most likely be thrown out in favor for whatever Swindle and/or Hopeless desired.

And boy was I right. Their devolution has snowballed to the point where any feelings of atmosphere and emotion have been thrown out the window in place for a more formulaic and generalized emo-pop with weak production and a mix as unbalanced as a kid with one leg on a trampoline. The instrumentation on this record feels like it was inspired by them going to see a Jawbreaker cover band that were high on NyQuil and then trying to replicate it in the studio the next day. There is nothing unique or inspiring about it except the odd guitar line that will pop up every other song or so. The only redeeming factor is that Swindle has still managed to keep some of his vocal tricks intact, with definitely not his grittiest performance but possibly his most improved and cleaned up performance to date. His songwriting, definitely has not had the same effect unfortunately. A lot of the lyrics are left feeling samey and mundane, with generic lyrics you could find from any teenage angst ridden emo record talking about past lovers and growing up such as “Tired of your *** / Your dirty lips kiss the ground he walks on / Does he make you feel like heaven when he speaks" / He's got the same ***ed look as me / Confused and always angry / That's why you left, but I digress / It's not the best for you and me,” from track six “Reaper”. While a lot of the record has to offer isn’t necessarily terrible, it leaves the listener wanting more and something different.

Overall, Make The Best Of It is left feeling even more uninspired than 2015’s A Place of Our Own, which at least had its redeeming factors and songs such as the phenomenal introspection "Two Years". The mixing suppresses the vocals which is arguably one of, if not, the only saving grace this record has to offer, as the instrumentation feels lazy and redundant. Any sense of atmosphere and emotion that their previous efforts offered have been replaced by muddy and unimaginative production with copy-paste lyrics that could have been written by a 14 year old girl. In reality, you’re probably just better off giving The Earth Pushed Back another spin because that record at least has atmosphere and staying power.



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user ratings (55)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
ianblxdsoe
April 24th 2017


1916 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

still trying to get the whole hang of reviewing stuff, don't feel like this is as good as my first review but i still had this sitting on my computer for a couple days and felt like it was worth at least posting. constructive criticism and other opinions are always welcome

Manning119
April 24th 2017


9 Comments


Seriously disappointed with this record after a first listen. It's so bland and forgettable despite me being excited after Coexist released. To me that song at least sounds like it would fit right into A Place of Our Own (which I liked more than most). All in all I think I'll have to give this another listen or two until I rate it but I pretty much completely agree with you here. Pos

MonotoneMop
April 24th 2017


573 Comments


I saw the LP of this a few days ago and the artwork is gorgeous when blown up in size.

Observer
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2017


6819 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah a bit let down.



Coexist is still a good jam though



Digging: Belle and Sebastian - The Boy With the Arab Strap

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
April 24th 2017


24639 Comments


damn RIP this band their first album was actually killer

elliootsmeuth
April 24th 2017


3712 Comments


First was great, second was good, but I'm not even going to bother with this one.

ianblxdsoe
April 24th 2017


1916 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

yeah trust me, The Earth Pushed Back is one of my favorite albums of all time, i'd probably even say top 15. so this reallyyyy hurts to say lol. i'm prob gonna still see them with TMP, broadside, nothing,nowhere. open for (i think) real friends next month even though they're prob only gonna perform like 2 or 3 songs from TEPB max

ianblxdsoe
April 24th 2017


1916 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

yeah trust me, The Earth Pushed Back is one of my favorite albums of all time, i'd probably even say top 15. so this reallyyyy hurts to say lol. i'm prob gonna still see them with TMP, broadside, nothing,nowhere. open for (i think) real friends next month even though they're prob only gonna perform like 2 or 3 songs from TEPB max

elliootsmeuth
April 24th 2017


3712 Comments


Congrats on the feature bro! And yeah I feel. They put on a hell of a show. Saw them at Riot Fest and it's still one of my favorite bands I've seen, even though I haven't listened to them in awhile.

ashcrash9
April 24th 2017


3051 Comments


tbh as much as I liked The Earth Pushed Back, I didn't think the band was doing anything special there, and their first follow-up felt like an obsolete, weaker retread of their older ideas and nothing more

not even gonna bother checking this from the looks of it

ticklemeemo
April 24th 2017


22 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Agree with the general consensus about the first album. BUT, I thought the second one was solid and I actually I dig this--so far.

brettgoespunk
April 24th 2017


282 Comments


ay my boy with the feature!

Spluger
April 24th 2017


1965 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Great review dude. It really is a shame how hard these guys fell off after their first LP, like you said some of the lyrics are just atrocious on this.

"I've got a funny gut feeling he won't make it home

I cut the brakes on his Camaro



I never knew I was his reaper

But he never knew I was so deranged

I never knew I was his reaper

But a lot of things have changed

Does it get you high every tear she sheds

You're so far in her head

I never knew I was his reaper

But a lot of things have changed"

ianblxdsoe
April 24th 2017


1916 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

thanks guys for the positive feedback!! means a lot, and yeah the lyrics are probably one of the worst offenses of the record lol. at least this album i feel might translate better in a live setting, but i'll let you guys know how that goes once i see them

Danred97
April 24th 2017


2215 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I don't know, I really enjoyed this album. I'd put it on the same level as their last album, which was really damn good. It's no The Earth Pushed back, but I think they pull everything off well on here.

elliootsmeuth
April 24th 2017


3712 Comments


From the snipits of lyrics I've seen, they don't seem that bad. I don't mind over the top emo lyrics like those.

50iL
April 25th 2017


5143 Comments


Dude, have mercy, this review is brutal

Digging: Lili Boulanger - Works of Lili Boulanger

CuddlyCaucasian
April 25th 2017


111 Comments


Very well-written review, what a downward spiral this band's career has been

henryChinaski
April 25th 2017


4180 Comments


"[...] with the band losing a lot of it’s grit for a more accessible sound."

Should be "its".

Nice write-up! Listened to this the other day and I'm afraid it's pretty average indeed.

dimsim3478
April 25th 2017


8232 Comments


damn RIP this band their first album was actually killer

agreed. they also had some killer tracks on their second LP, though it was a letdown overall. sad to hear this is moreso. will still give a listen, though.

Digging: 2 - ???



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