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Alkaline Trio - Mercy Me

  by Alex Halls

published: 18 / 11 / 2005

Alkaline Trio - Mercy Me
Label: Vagrant
Format: CDS


Melodic punk rock on second single from Alkaline Trio's new album 'Cimson'

As the second single taken from their new album 'Crimson', 'Mercy Me' retains the Alkaline Trio’s melodic and tuneful sound that was first introduced to a wider audience on second full-length release, 'Maybe I’ll Catch Fire'. It also follows on from the style of 'Warbrain', seen on 'Rock Against Bush Vol.1', a style that continues to attract crowds even if it lacks that extra touch of resourcefulness. Formed in 1997 and despite a couple of changes, the Alkaline Trio currently stands at band creator, Matt Skiba (Guitar / Vocals); Dan Andriano (Bass / Vocals); and former Suicide Machines drummer, Derek Grant. Having made smaller impact with earlier material, it was with singles 'Private Eye' and 'Stupid Kid', present on fourth album, 'From Here To Infirmary', that the band forged itself a permanent place within the music scene, a permanency that can be seen to remain to this day. 'Mercy Me' follows a relatively generous pop-oriented punk route but retains a respectable edge, one that keeps the band from becoming overly successful but does justice to music itself. This said, 'Mercy Me', whilst not offering anything spectacular, plays to the band’s strengths and will offer fans more of what they have enjoyed before: after all, the last thing a band wants to do is to alienate the current fan base by switching styles too regularly or even abruptly. The problem with the Alkaline Trio’s music lies with the repetition of song fragments. Whilst 'Mercy Me' hits all the right notes on a musical level, it does suffer from mild stagnation: it is good to make use of strong, catchy segments but not if it is at the expense of diversity. The aforementioned 'Warbrain' suffered also on this point despite being an excellent track and perhaps highlights the band’s limited creativity. It is not unlike the Alkaline Trio to provide decent songs on their records and 'Mercy Me' counts as one such song. Without the other tracks on Crimson, it is difficult to put this single into context yet, as a standalone track, it does the business so to speak. It is far from a groundbreaking track, yet is highly listenable; a real bonus when it comes to diluted punk rock.

Track Listing:-
1 Mercy Me
2 Private Eye (Acoustic)
3 Buried
4 Mercy Me (Video)

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