Album Review: Mercy - 'What You Stand To Lose'
Updated: Jul 9
Las Vegas pop-punk outfit Mercy Music releases their fourth new emotional journey of an album, What You Stand To Lose.
For pop-punk bands like Mercy Music, making music is built on love for what they do because life is nothing is guaranteed to do the things you want. For their fourth full release, What You Stand To Lose, Mercy Music makes this their defining theme, hopeful and determined to keep fulfilling their dreams based on this principle of time and how precious it is to us as human beings. On What You Stand To Lose, produced by Bill Stevenson (Descendents, ALL, Black Flag) and mixed by Jason Livermore (Descendents, Propagandhi, NOFX, Hot Water Music), Mercy Music conveys risk, pain, and acceptance in many forms, and the Las Vegas pop-punk band invites the listener to come along for the journey of the emotional growth that stems from that.
Some of the reasons Mercy Music stands apart from other pop-punk outfits in the scene are the unique accents in their guitar tones, overall vivacious instrumentation, and the fun ways in which they use vocals, and notable moments on the album, such as "Undone" highlight this brilliantly.
From the beginning, the first track, "Suddenly," starts their sanguine venture. With a juxtaposition of happy pop-punk resonance and emotionally aching lyricism, Mercy Music comes out the gate swinging, showing their level of talent in balancing both elements with ease, something that brilliantly continues throughout What You Stand To Lose.
The second track, "Love You Need You," surrounds the album with sun-drenched guitars, gorgeous guitar solos, punchy percussive sound, and some of the best vocal work this early on the album. Some of the reasons Mercy Music stands apart from other pop-punk outfits in the scene are the unique accents in their guitar tones, overall vivacious instrumentation, and the fun ways in which they use vocals, and notable moments on the album, such as "Undone" highlight this brilliantly. Its odd-timed pauses between each infectious guitar scale and the evocative harmonies in which these they mold together create one of the best moments on the record.
Mercy keeps its instrumental vibes of sandy beaches, a warm ocean breeze, and tortured lyrics with "Watch Me Drown" before diving into the bittersweet nostalgic depths of "What's The Use." Both lyrically sound junctures bear the creative teeth of the band when it comes to songs that pack an impactful punch on the album; Mercy Music keeps showing with each track experience since their 2020 experience Nothing In The Dark that the growth in that time has shown that countless hours have been devoted to crafting memorable songs that linger in your mind even after they have ended.
The album What You Stand To Lose concludes with the songs "Total Nightmare" and "Waiting To Begin," the latter of which is a melancholic and reflective piece—ending with the best of both worlds showing off their trademark effervescence and despondent lyrical presence, "Waiting To Begin" chances energies entirely with its denuded acoustics and sense of forlorn vocals and lyrics, ending the record on a thought-provoking note.
What You Stand To Lose is more than just a great balance of elation and dejected lyricism. It's a poignant journey of a band that, despite the turmoil that's existed through the mental and physical pain of their struggle as a band, each has come out stronger on the other side because of it. For all these reasons and more through each song experience, this record is a solid new experience from the band worth listening to from start to finish.