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.
// Notes from the Road
"On release day for their latest Big Mess, Grouplove packed Baby's in Brooklyn for a sweaty show.READ the article