Australia - Full Moon 123 - 10/07/06
Wolf & Cub + The Mercy Arms + Mountains in the Sky
Brunswick East, Melbourne, 16.9.06
Six or seven years ago I lived with my best friend Mark. I had just finished university and was desperately resisting getting a proper job and becoming an adult. I wanted to be in a band, slumming around with my feet stomping on FX pedals and my head in the clouds, coming up with ever-more beautiful guitar arpeggios.
One day I was watching TV and saw Gomez awarded the Mercury Music Prize. It depressed the hell out of me. There were five blokes, my age or younger, not only making music, but being successful at it. Bastards.
And now we have The Mercy Arms, the reason I am out enduring woeful stoner rock from Wolf & Cub. Mountains in the Sky were pretty good - lots of shimmering, woozy loops and a kick-ass live drummer. But The Mercy Arms... These boys are clearly being groomed for success, and it makes me
feel old and useless.
They must be about 18. They look great. They sound like a combination of The Cure, The Strokes, Slowdive, Interpol and Ash. I hate them. But I love them.
Guitarist Kiran has the kind of schizophrenic guitar sound that gets me every time: one minute chiming with wonderful melodic lines, the next tearing your ear drums apart with spiteful static. Vocalist Thom has the kind of nonchalant delivery that suits this kind of music perfectly, and he lays down some pretty mean guitar lines too. The rhythm section is solid and occasionally outstanding. They plough through a dozen songs with very little acknowledgement of the crowd, and then leave.
Soon enough you'll hear of The Mercy Arms, and you'll have a love/hate relationship with them too...
Copyright © 2006 Tim Clarke