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The Mercy Killers

Bloodlove

(Hellcat Records; US: 22 Aug 2006)

Punk trios aren’t quite a dime a dozen these days—more like a quarter a dozen. But there are still a lot of them, and the Mercy Killers try their best to break out of that mold. They’re not hitting you over the head with the oomph and power you would expect for a first song, with the opening “Hollow” sounding just a tad, well, hollow. A tad better is “Pamint De Mort”, which has some beefier hooks and a bit more bite to it, bringing to mind Sum 41-meets-Rancid to some extent. You notice that each song is better than the last, resulting in a great momentum coming off of the tight and delectable “Lust for Hope” and “As Far Apart”, which is more rock than it is punk. The punk quotient is made up during the blazing, lean guitar riffs oozing out of the frantic “I’m Not Wasted” that never quite spirals out of control, while the title track sounds like it fell out of the Clash’s back pocket. The homestretch has a few decent songs, such as “Pure Life” and “Not Alone Now”, but nothing to run and tell your friends about.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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