Written by Fumo Verde
I had never heard anything from The Mooney Suzuki before this CD and upon a first listen didn’t think I was missing anything. Have Mercy is a good album, but there wasn’t much on it that made it stand out for me. We start off with “99%,” which brings me back to the times of seeing local garage bands and paying three bucks because there was a keg in the back by the pool. The song rips open with a lone guitar riff and the sounds of hands clapping. Then the band opens it up like a Harley on Pacific Coast Highway. It’s a good old foot-stomping tune with rockin’ guitars and a steady drumbeat.
A similar R&B thumper, “This Broke Heart of Mine,” follows it. With a catchy chorus repeating “When it’s gone, then its gone/ the lovin’ is gone then its gone/ your loving is gone,” I found myself singing this to myself when I was sitting in the water waiting for waves last week. Hmmm, maybe this CD does have something that stands out for me, maybe.
“Ashes” has a driving beat with great guitar work and some dark lyrics telling a story of sorrow and death, “When Autumn comes/ blackbirds flying,/ I’m alright/ I’m only dieing/ Ashes, ashes we all fall down.” A screaming guitar solo enhances the eeriness of the words. Again, I’m tapping my foot and remembering the long line for the keg tap.
“Little Rock and Roller Girl” follows. The band’s light-heartedness comes into play as they sing about The Rolling Stones, The Ramones, and as shout out to Brian Jones, letting the girl know that now matter how old she gets, she’ll never be older than dinosaur bones or any of those folks I just mentioned.
I didn’t think I cared about this CD, but as I wrote about it, I found out that there were some sweet songs on here, “Mercy Me” with its gritty sound and sharp lyrics gives off the feeling of hearing this song in some dive bar where you know the band had to pay to play. The guitar work on this jam leaves me with images of dark streets and dirty drug deals gone wrong, although I know the lyrics say something else. When it comes to lyrics with drugs in it, “Good Ol’ Alcohol” fills the prescription. This song will endear itself to all of us who have been “there and back” with booze, drugs and whatnot. Now I remembered why I paid three bucks for Miller on tap, chilled in a steel garbage can: it was the music. Well that and the weed we smoked as we trampled over someone’s flower garden.
Is this disc growing on me? Maybe so, because this CD has been lingering in the back of my mind. The musicianship is top notch and the group really has it together. Some songs are fun, others are a little darker, but all are simple with steady, rock-hard beats and catchy choruses that loiter in the memory banks and pop up asking for change every once in a while. I need to hear more of The Mooney Suzuki, but as for Have Mercy, I give it a solid rockin’ A.