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Album Review: Make The Best Of It by Have Mercy

Have Mercy release their highly anticipated third album, Make The Best Of It, on 21st April via Hopeless Records. From the opening chords of ‘Smoke And Lace’ it’s obvious that this is a new and invigorated version of Have Mercy.

That comes as no surprise as the period surrounding the album was one filled with profound change, both personal and professional. The entire band around Brian Swindle altered, with the frontman now the only original member of Have Mercy. One thing that’s not uncertain is that Make The Best Of It, with all its confidence and cohesion, hasn’t changed who Swindle is at all. “Everyone who worked on the album poured every ounce of themselves into this,” Swindle says. “Even if nobody likes this record, we don’t give a shit.”

While unmistakably sounding like Have Mercy, the sound is pushed further with a more adult and complete feel to proceedings. Musically, lyrically and stylistically, Make The Best Of It rings loud and true throughout, being the bands catchiest and tightest endeavour to date.

Have Mercy sound so much bigger and better here that they move from being emo alt rock also rans towards a sound that, whilst being more accessible and mainstream, marks them out from the crowd. There’s the sense that this is the moment where Have Mercy have realised their potential and with it created their best album to date.

Unlike previous albums, there isn’t a weak track – all 11 are of the highest standard. ‘Coexist’ is the standout track with its commanding chorus and near perfect execution of catchy alt rock – it’s bound to become a live favourite in no time. ‘Baby Grand’ and ‘Reaper’ come extremely close in matching its magic. The latter is especially good, the guitars are little heavier adding a bit more punch to sit alongside the catchy hook making for an excellent sing along.

Quieter tracks like ‘Ghost’ and album closer ‘You Made Me’ carry just as much weight and are equally as immediate. Naturally these tracks have a more emo leaning than the others, Swindle’s vocal really comes to the fore and delivers all the power and gusto you could want. ‘Good Christian Man’ is another track of the highest standard and solidifies the opinion that this is best Have Mercy have ever been.

AD Rating 8.5/10

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