Release DetailsLABEL Century Media
RELEASED ON 7/1/2003
The Mercury Lift
posted on 7/2003 By:
It's funny what gets labeled as hardcore these days. All I've heard about these guys was that they were good hardcore, and they're on Century, so you expect something heavy, thus I was thinking I was in store for some fine metalcore. Maybe something along the lines of Killswitch Engage. My mistake. In fact, Haste is a band that plays screamy/chunky hardcore about 25% of the time, and the remainder is an unexpected, punked-up radio-rock sound. I could totally see 5 or 6 of these songs playing on a few radio stations here, not just the one that plays heavy shit for an hour on Sundays.
Haste utilized a dual-vocal approach, with Chris Mosley handling the high screams and clean singing (I think), and Kelly Reaves contributing the lower screams and growls. The clean singing that dominates the album is higher-pitched with a bit of an emo flavor to them, but his voice carries a lot of emotion. They've also got twin guitars, manned by Jason Burns and Nick Brunson. The production is fine, with a nice high mix on the guitars.
The Mercury Lift comes off like an album where the band wasn't really sure which direction they wanted to go. There are 3-4 songs that are legitimately heavy, and they are quite good. Then there are 5-6 songs that are much more accessible, emotional, and peppy, with nary a harsh vocal in sight. My girlfriend, who is more knowledgeable than I am about the mainstream rock scene, felt that these songs sounded like Default and Course of Nature but a bit punkier. They reminded me a little of Earshot. The other couple of songs split the difference, alternating a bit awkwardly. There are two pretty killer songs on here. A God Reclaims His Throne starts off with some old-school hardcore riffage underneath the dual screaming, and then a third voice comes in even lower, barking out lyrics of doom. I was thrown for a loop when I realized that these beefy pipes belonged to the one and only Randy Blythe, of Lamb of God. Randy's gruff vox can make any song instantly tougher. The other great track is the closer, Revenge Tastes Like Blood and Broken Teeth. Thick and meaty (mmm...) riffs rumble along, joined by some subtle melodic leads. Now the lighter songs like Aspartame, aren't that bad, just not that catchy and a little too sugary sweet.
If all this sounds good to you, then pick the fucker up. For me, The Mercury Lift seems like one of those split albums where two bands are featured. The heavy, hardcore-ish Haste I can enjoy. The upbeat, lighter side of Haste isn't hard to digest or anything, but it goes in one ear and out the other. For an example of both sides of Haste, check out the track The Rescued. The Mercury Lift: not bad, but not great.
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