Violet Mercy’s hard-hitting and heavily compressed guitar music is founded on well-established principles. Be loud, run the guitar through at least one distortion pedal and have a vocalist that sounds at least a little bit like Eddie Vedder.
The Liverpudlians are nothing necessarily new then. But their new single ‘Pain’ is a gritty sonic affair. At times it sounds like it’s been plucked out of a 2005 copy of NME. Yet the single is heavier than if first appears.
Vocalist Jake Dooley sounds particularly menacing during his blood-curdling screaming of the song’s title during each chorus. Equally, his mellower verses are subversive too.
Their Instagram biography currently reads, ‘PAIN out now.’ More than factually accurate, it reads like a pithy analysis of the song’s themes. ‘To think you know your right from wrong/I wrote this song to tell you how I feel’ is equal part mission statement as opening lyrics.
To this extent Violet Mercy touch upon the types of aesthetics Midwest Emo bands explored in the ‘90s. There’s undeniably an ode to Seattle’s grunge present too.
The levels are punkishly messy. That’s not a bad thing, although it does make the guitar solo too quiet for it to be fully appreciated. That’s a shame given the fluent, kirk Hammett-inspired wah-induced mayhem.
Violet Mercy is an easy sell for old-school rock fans. It’s familiar territory but with quite a few influences subtly bundled together. There’s enough about ‘Pain’ to keep the listen-counts high and to maintain an interest in the band’s paradoxically eclectic familiarity.