Maryland-based indie rock group, Have Mercy, has accomplished a lot since their 2011 debut album , The Earth Pushed Back. They’ve managed to turn a lot of heads with their unique sound, often consisting of a collaboration of angst, catchy instrumentals and complimenting vocals that are bombarded with emotion. A Place of Our Own, Have Mercy’s second album, released in 2014, leaves no doubt in my mind that they will continue to climb their way to being a common name amongst the world of rock music.
The album kicks off with a powerful introduction, screaming a catchy chorus consisting of “I remember your hands at my throat/ A sweet reminder how you’ll never let go.” I couldn’t think of a better track out of the 11 to get this album started. From the introduction alone, it is apparent that this album aimed to stray off down a seemingly darker path than its predecessor. The addictive sound and catchy lyricism that got many hooked on Have Mercy initially is alive, well, and even more evolved in this sophomore release. Despite The Earth Pushed Back being one of my all-time favorite albums of its kind, A Place of Our Own really shows significant growth and development from their previous releases and establishes how much this band has fine-tuned their craft. The pacing on the album is solid, as it transitions seamlessly from track to track. Also, there seems to be a darker tone to this album, and all the tracks follow suit. There isn’t an abundance of songs, or even lyrics, that I would consider playing at any wedding that I’ve ever been to. However, that is a great thing. This album was really easy for me to connect to because I can relate to a lot of the lyrics and the emotional vocals backing them. To me, being able to produce music that your audience can connect to in more ways than just jamming it in their car signifies a display of talent that is not easy to come by.
The album shines with songs like Pawn Takes Rook, Howl, Plastic Covered Furniture, and my personal favorite, Lean. There was only one track off of the album that I dislike musically for its monotone vocals and pace-changing, acoustic-only direction, and that song is Inch by Inch. The song has since grown on me after listening to the album numerous times, but on my first couple playthroughs, it just felt out of place. While still offering solid lyricism and a decent instrumental track, it was definitely the lowest point of the album for me. I can rationalize Have Mercy wanting to take an experimental route, and I commend them for that; especially since the album as a whole was a lot more experimental in comparison. However, Inch by Inch seemed to be lacking the staple sound that Have Mercy is capable of delivering. Nonetheless, I’d consider A Place of Our Own a better album than their debut album from a developmental perspective, and I’m looking forward to seeing what this band is capable of bringing to the table, going forth.
A Place of Our Own is Maryland-based Have Mercy‘s second album to hit the shelves, and it hits all the right notes. In terms of what makes an album good, this album has an abundance of all of it. Great instrumentals, form-fitting vocals, and home-hitting vocals happen to be the recipe for the polar opposite of disaster, as they work seamlessly together to provide potentially the best rock album I’ve listened to in 2014. If you haven’t checked out this album, or Have Mercy, in general, I recommend getting to that as soon as possible. A Place of Our Own would be a great place to start (no pun intended).