Album Review: Have Mercy - A Place Of Our Own (2014 LP)

Have Mercy are a band responsible for sending people's emotions into turmoil. It's quite exquisite and almost empowering to know that a band's music can mess with someone's feelings from the first track to the last. Last year they brought heartaches and unwritten love letters with The Earth Pushed Back and this year they amplify this with their sophomore album, A Place Of Our Own. Some songs bring back unforgivable reminders of pain and frustrations, others beckon the calling of one's name when left in isolation after losing a loved one, bringing back haunting memories dawning upon one's shadow in the darkest hour.

Even for a first time listener, the emotive character with the record is pretty much prominent at the start of "To Convey". For a fairly short track, it already cut through the first deep wound. "I remember your hands at my throat, a sweet reminder how you'll never let go" is a line that takes a good stab to the heart with Brian Swindle's vocals changing from a very low vocal range to then embarking on a husky strain to his voice, making you wonder how he went through such pain and suffering. The pace of the guitar work becomes primarily evident in the first thirty seconds of the track as it illuminates a quite atmospheric rush of electric guitar riffs and drum work that keep up with the tempo of the song. However, the first track doesn't map out all the emotions conveyed on the record and it's hard to keep yourself mentally prepared for what's next.

"Two Years" is a track on isolation and almost like a war between appreciating the past to what has become an unfortunate future. The lyrics tell a story, almost as if the narrator went to rehab or in a mental institution, explaining the in-depth feelings of nostalgia and just wanting to go back when things felt at home. Not even that but the lyrics just dead-on reveal that he has nothing to hide anymore and he would trade anything to be on good terms with his life. The tangible echoes of the all too familiar bass, guitar and drum work resonate a musical influence of The Dangerous Summer which captures something of cohesive substance and demeanour.

The battle between the stages of grief is a challenging act that not many people can master, especially at a young age where you're just getting some basic understanding of your own emotions."Howl" portrays the darkest undertones one faces when they lose someone so dear to them and in this case, it's about the death of the person's father. Lyrically it's simplistic but at the same time it gives the power for the listener to really feel the emotive lyrics that surface from the skin. Even with the rhythm and somewhat upbeat pace of the song, it brings a sense of comfort knowing that there is a guardian of the universe, watching over us in some form or another.

"Spacecrafts" is resentful of what many people have experienced before - unrequited love. How painful is it to come across a human being that is so perfect for you but only ever considers you as a friend? Sharing an incredible mental connection with one another only then to come to the conclusion that the feelings were only ever platonic. The amplified vocals and the raw, alternative rock music compliments so well with the theme of the song. In addition, the electric guitar solo expresses the push and pull between the mind and the heart, caving heartache in several interchanged notes that not even words can express the pain being felt and damn, it hurts.

If there ever comes a realisation that you need some sense of comfort in melancholic tunes and poetic sub-verses, A Place Of Our Own has it all. It's a record that resurfaces every emotion that has ever been felt across humankind, coming to the realisation that some things just don't go to plan and we have to somehow be okay with that.

Review Score: 8.5 out of 10

A Place Of Our Own is out now through Hopeless Records.