When Have Mercy kicked the door into the scene with their overpowering, impressive debut full-length The Earth Pushed Back, they became THE band to watch. The Baltimore, MD band’s debut proved they had an uncanny ability to mix emotional lyrics with modern rock musicianship, all while drawing influences from contemporaries like Citizen and Balance and Composure to find a sound unmatched by any other band in the current scene. Then earlier in 2014, the band released a split EP with Daisyhead, with two new songs recorded by Paul Leavitt, where their potential clearly began to be realized, even more than before. Then the band took it a step further with their sophomore full length, A Place Of Our Own. The album is killer.
Album opener ‘To Convey’ is short and sweet, but grabs your ear with the hook. The lyrics are sharp, catchy, and everything about the song makes for a perfect opener. Emotional, raw, and beautifully composed, the song draws you in to the rest of the album. The dynamic of the song sets the tone for the album, starting soft, and ending with the biting emotional lyrics over the loud rock sensibilities of the bands sound. They execute the soft-crash-loud dynamic perfectly.
The next track ‘Two Years’ continues the formula, but it doesn’t feel stale at all. Each individual tracks stands well on it’s own, and each track has staying power on the album, regardless of some being clearly better than the others. The band clearly took all the good parts of The Earth Pushed Back, and tightened parts, refining them. The album is a clear improvement, with several stand out tracks. The emotional lyrics drive the album, with sharp, strong vocals, that drive the emotion even deeper. The band constructs gorgeous melodies, emotional lyrics, and relatable subjects, that stick in your brain and carry the entirety of the album.
The weakest moments on the album are ‘Plastic Covered Furniture’ and ‘Inch By Inch,’ which says a lot, since these tracks on their own are fairly strong. Every track has a great hook, great melodies, and are all around catchy. Highlights of the album include the tracks, ‘Pete Rose and Babe Ruth,’ ‘Lean,’ and ‘Two Years.’ ‘Lean’ probably being the best of the three. If you don’t believe me, the album is on Spotify, and you can see for yourself. I give A Place Of Our Own the honor of being the best album of 2014, at least in my book. I can’t wait until the day I have the honor of seeing them live.
Best Track: “Lean”
Worst Track: “Plastic Covered Furniture”
Sounds like: Balance and Composure/Citizen/Tigers Jaw