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You are watching: Have mercy a place of our own

After taking in The Earth Pushed Back last year, I found myself recommending Have Mercy to everyone. "Let"s Talk About Your Hair" was a great indication of why. They marry emo and wistful post-hardcore tones so neatly into little spots of pop-punk, yet their music never feels too clustered. It all converges pretty well and a lot of that comes down to Brian Swindle"s vocal range. He drifts from clean and melodic into coarser territories with such ease. It"s a great spine for the band to pad up and their musical pattern does just this -- giving a highly accessible, emo-friendly sound that isn"t too dark or jaded. A Place of Our Own feels like an ideal continuation of this narrative but with more focus on the charming and lighthearted aspects of Have Mercy. Could it have been a bit dirtier? Yes. Does the overlybpolished sound really prove to be that big a detractor? Well, not really.I was very skeptical of this record coming out on Hopeless Records. First off, I thought it was too soon and also, after hearing bands like Taking Back Sunday and The Used on Hopeless, well, let"s just say I wasn"t inspired with confidence. That aside, Have Mercy more or less keep the major elements of what makes them tick and offer up a lot for fans of the demo days as well. From the easy-on-the-ears "Two Years" to "Howl," Swindle helps the rhythm flow seamlessly into why we miss the past. These earlier sections mix up a lot of twinkly guitars with the later parts of the record coming off more intricate and also, more flushed. It feels like a record that swells and builds per track...and in most cases, that could be a bit risky (and boring) in the onset, yet on A Place of Our Own, Swindle"s vocals help maintain your attention. "Pete Rose and Babe Ruth" as well as the guitar-picky "Spacecrafts" help assemble the middle of the album in a more concise manner with the crisper percussion work really shining. This feels more like what you really came for and acts as neat lead-ins to harsher tunes like "Pawn Takes Rook" and "Lean" which closes things off with a more edgy spin. The guitars feel more crunchy and solos cut to express that it"s not just an album about a broken romance. These tracks tread more on the general decay in life and help balance the softer stance that "Inch By Inch" purports. Calling the latter a mellow ballad would be an understatement. It"s a piano-driven acoustic highlighting the band"s endearment factor, even more than usual. However, it comes back to how well Have Mercy vary their sound. They"re never stuck in one frame.When you stack all these factors up, what comes to mind is diversity. Leaving Topshelf for Hopeless Records was something I thought would have affected this trait of the band, but I"m very glad to say that these concerns are quickly washed away a few tracks into A Place of Our Own. I"d like them to mix things up and rough it a bit more on the next go, but for now, this will do. Just fine.

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A very touching and earnest record by a band that"s certainly living up to their billing.