Album Review: Have Mercy - Make The Best Of It

Have Mercy are back and better than ever with another gut-wrenching album. As if we could expect anything less than the emotional honesty and rawness that we have come to love, they have taken it just a step further with their third full-length release. The long-anticipated Make The Best Of It is full of addictive guitar-riffs and charming vocal melodies that give off a nostalgic warmth, all the while creating a sense of irony when matched with the lyrical melodrama. Have Mercy have mastered the “emo” genre entirely and revamped it into their own enticingly somber sound.

To denominate Brian Swindle as a lyrical and musical genius would absolutely be an understatement. From My Oldest Friend back in 2012 to the newest release, fans find themselves longing for people and lost in situations they may have yet to even experience. He is both courageous and admirable for delving deep to produce, release, and perform such passionate pieces of art.

Though Swindle is known for giving us all “the feels,” Make The Best Of It has a bit of a storytelling element to it as well, highlighting his maturing musicianship over the years. The album embodies personal tales of love, loss, regret, and even spite. With songs such as "Ghost" and "Baby Grand", it feels like listening to a spoken letter that is both elegantly poetic and stunningly cathartic.

Between the bellowing bass lines, strong vocals, and overlaying guitar, “Drive” sends flashbacks of a personal favorite record Dizzy Up The Girl by The Goo Goo Dolls. “Begging For Bones” is another upbeat and sweet favorite. The piano hints and catchy melody in the chorus make it easy to sing along to. I would certainly dub these two the “drive around with the windows down” songs on the album.

One song that surprised me (in the best way) was “Reaper”. The song is lyrically cynical and brooding, especially in the chorus when Swindle sings, "I never knew I was his reaper, but a lot of things have changed." One could even say the line alludes to how his own songwriting has changed over the years alongside the stories he chooses to tell through his music. I must admit, this brutally honest song shows a refreshingly maniacal side of Swindle when he sings "I got a funny gut feeling he won't make it home, I cut the brakes on his Camaro."

If you’ve been waiting for your Album of the Year, look no further. The album is a virtuosic color wheel of emotions, from a solemn blue in "Smoke And Lace" to an intrusive and passionate red in "Good Christian Man". The year may only be halfway through but rest assured, Make The Best Of It will have its throne at the top of your list come the end of 2017.