When you go through this past year’s releases you might discover some albums and some artists that you might have missed this year. You might discover Mercy Fall. Flagstaff AZ’s Mercy Fall is heavily influenced by mid-90’s hard rock acts like Pearl Jam and Sound Garden. On Mercy Fall’s Atlantic release “For the Taken,” there are a lot of examples of that 90’s Alternative that caused a lot of us to come over to the genre, but it’s not without its shortcomings.
The album starts out rockin’ with “Insurmountable” and goes into another great song “Hangman.” During these two tracks its evident where Mercy Fall’s strength is- Matt Stone’s more than capable voice. He does a great job throughout the record. The solos are great with this record as well, and the implementation of a diggery-do on the single “I Got Life” instantly adds bonus points. “I Got Life” is no doubt the best song on the album. It’s aggressive, it’s loud, and it’s perfect. The second best song on the album though is the more upbeat/ positive “Here I Am.” I heard this song and I was instantly reminded of one of my favorite bands over the past five years- Familiar 48. My one objection is that there’s no variety here. With the exception of “Here I Am”, all of the songs have a hard paced grunge feel to them that may rely too heavily on Matt Stone’s vocals.
Mercy Fall has a long ways to go but they’re on the right track. Think of the mainstays in this genre: it took Nickelback their third album to hit mainstream, Crossfade started out strong, but they have stumbled with their second release, and although Default has had some success they’ve always seemed like they are right on the verge of being something huge. My point is bands like this take a while for people to latch on to. Mercy Fall is on the verge of something huge, it’s just not going to be with this album and it probably won’t be with the next one either. All the same, keep your eyes and ears open for future releases from these guys.