A horrible hack

Hey Mercedes

Loses Control

Year Released: 2003
Format: LP
Label: Vagrant
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on Jun 13, 2007
Now I don't know how old Bob Nanna and the rest of the cats on this LP are, but I always figured they were around my age, and they sound far too old to be making this kind of music. I am sure it has been readily cooked up for people who enjoy shit era Get Up Kids and other such bad pop punk. And I'm sure I'm too old to be listening to it, I have no doubt that I am at least 10 years older than Vagrant Records "target audience" for Hey Mercedes. Sadly, if you want to look it that way, I also think this is a great record, and it's probably going to end up in my top 10 LP's this year. I don't know what that says about me or Hey Mercedes or the year 2003, but what the fuck. I never had any credibility in the first place, this isn't going to do me any harm.

The first couple of times I played this record I thought it was dire. The pits. The shits. No good bits. Then I slapped it on a tape and played it my car the past couple of days and I finally realised that it was an incredibly fun record. That doesn't mean it is the most technically accomplished album of the year, or the most innovative or the most emo, it is just FUN. EFF YEW EN. 12 tracks of unabashedly straightforward rock music, replete with chuggy rock riffs and Bob Nanna getting all giddy and singing and yelling in that familiarly heartfelt way. Sure, it's over-produced, sure it's wave upon wave of slick guitar and absurdly catchy riffage, but by heck it works! They've discovered the magic formula. Pretty much all the songs have a characteristic that burns itself into your ears and ensures it stays there by cooking on gas mark 10. There are also moments where this band betrays their mid-west emo roots, which is incredibly delightful. It's wondering whether it should burst out, but for the most part is drowned in the rock, but believe me it's in there. Oh yes it is. I can just tell they want to do that whooping "YEAH!" every now and again, it's just bubbling under the surface. I mean, take "Unorchestrated" which is so understated, Bob gets all fragile and the twinkle guitar kicks off. Takes me back. And then there is "Absolute Zero Drive" which has the twinkle in full effect at times, gorgeous - midwest as fuck!

There are a couple of songs that don't really do it for me, such as "Playing Your Song" which is a bit lightweight and wishy washy, and Bob sings the word "fucking" with no emotion. SWEAR WITH PASSION BOB, AND SWEAR FOR A REASON! Braid would never have stood for that.

Well yeah. It's a real good LP, I prefer to listen to it in the car but it's still good indoors. It renewed some positivity in me and gives me hope after a shitty week of shitty shit. ROCK!

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