Abaddon magazine

Music magazine

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Review: The Mercy Kills – New Rule

Label: Golden Robot Records

Date: February 12th, 2021

I won’t be lying if I said I was quite a bit disappointed after just under half a minute of “New Rule”. Looking at a photo of the band looking like Motley Crue at the turn of the century, I expected a full-on energy blast from start to finish. What I got out of the new EP by this Aussie quartet is not altogether different, but it just doesn’t kick like a mule.

Though apparently not completely drained of energy, it would seem as if it was quite contained on “New Rule”. As if the band was actually holding back on us. I took the liberty of checking their previous efforts and found a lot more reckless approach to music making in the past. It could be attributed to the cleaner production work, or to the songs themselves, however, I find The Mercy Kills softer than they are used to be.

Now, don’t let that distract you from the band, or this release. Even if “New Rule” is nowhere near a classic you mustn’t miss, it does still possess an edge you cannot often hear these days. I cannot be sure if the band was actually influenced by them, but the closest reference I can find to compare The Mercy Kills to, are MC5 and The Stooges. Of course, you should not take these comparisons as they appear, since the EP presents a modern band, going for the olden postulates of primeval, sleazy punk rock. Mixed with a bit of glam, along the lines of… Well, Motley Crue. On a more contemporary side of things, you can feel a bit of that Rob Zombie industrial taste. Or Marilyn Manson, for that matter, in his early days.

What all of this means is that you get a simple, yet effective arrangements, meant to be memorized and easily followed. Simplified riffing and groovy rhythm are the obvious carriers of each track. I could also tell a few things about the vocals here, as they also don’t seem to be on the same level of expression this type of music needs. Though the vocalist undoubtedly tries, accompanied by the girls providing backup, the leading voice falls short of the goal. Reminds me of Danko Jones on occasion, but without the overflowing mojo.

Getting to the point here, “New Rule” is not a bad release, taken all into consideration. Still, this is a band with a decade of experience behind them and obvious skill and the know-how provided in their back catalogue. However, the new EP could be taken as a mediocrity, even by The Mercy Kills’ own standard. They can do better, trust me. Or better yet, don’t trust me but try it on your own. If the bands mentioned above are dear to your ear, these Aussies can be a sure thing.