Recently I had the fortune to discover the incredible album that is Have Mercy’s “The Earth Pushed Back,” and it is captivating from start to finish. In a scene where bands get street cred and free streams for fitting a trendy sound and trolling on Twitter, it is gratifying, in a populist listener kind of way, to find a genre-spanning, East Coast indie alt-rock group such as this with emotive lyrics and longing-fused chord progressions. Traces of homage to pop punk/alt-rock of the past decade couple a sound more measured and mature, one that mimics the likes of American Football or early Copeland.

I love how melodic they are while standing on a foundation of accentuated bass lines, high-octave lead guitar thrashing and scratched-throat shouting. The album provides a balance of aggression and softer moments, blending deep, heavy chords with near whispers and occasional harmonies and strings. For a four-piece, this band sounds larger, using fills, timing and distortion to create that trademark suspension. Lyrically, these songs are destined to speak for the heartsick, spinning tales of captive desire, regret and longing with little end in sight through physical references to heads, hearts and arms, phone calls, moments and metaphor. 
I’m looking forward to checking out their newly released split with Daisyhead, as all signs point to this band firming up a reputation for itself. I’m looking forward to attaching this album, now found, to a time and a place, as is the case when I find myself alone with these records to hold onto. 

“I called you up, just where have you been
I’m just waiting for our lives to begin
No one wants you the way that I want you
When no one wants you
Can you say you want me too?

Why won’t she go home?
I have you on the other telephone?
Cause no one, no one can do the things you do
Say the three words that I just want you to
I need you

We laughed in the sun, we laid in the grass
I felt your earth pushing back, it pushed back
What you don’t know, don’t know
Is you’re gone and I’m home
But I’m all alone
For every body who knows what comes after

We laughed in the sun, we laid in the grass
I felt your earth pushing back, pushing back
What you don’t know, don’t know
Is you’re gone and I’m home
But I’m all alone
For everybody who sung from the rafters

I want you weak at the knees”

~Weak at the Knees
Have Mercy, The Earth Pushed Back