Independent pop punk band Mercy Music released its new album this week in the form of Nothing in the Dark. The 10-song record is short, clocking in at only 26 minutes, but despite that short run time, it proves itself a positive new offering from the band. That is proven through its musical arrangements and lyrical themes. This is proven right from the album’s outset in the form of its single ‘Living With a Ghost.’ This song will be discussed shortly. ‘Even If I’ve Lost,’ the album’s closer, is another of its high points. It will be addressed a little later. The album’s title track, which comes just past the record’s midpoint, is another key addition to its presentation. It will also be discussed later. When it is considered along with the other two songs noted here and the rest of the record’s works, the whole of that content makes this album a work that will appeal to any pop punk fan.
Nothing in the Dark is a record from which no pop punk fan has anything to fear. That is proven from start to end of the record, which clocks in at less than half an hour. That is proven right from the album’s outset in the form of ‘Living With A Ghost.’ The song is a strong start to the album. That is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement, which exhibits a wide range of influences. On one hand, the infectious guitar riffs couple with the bass, drums and vocals to make for a composition that lends itself to works from the likes of All Time Low. The guitar solo in the bridge is immediately comparable to those of Dropkick Murphys. On yet another hand, one could just as easily compare this song to works from New Found Glory. Keeping all of this in mind, it goes to show just in this case what makes this song stand out among the album’s entries. It shows the wide appeal of the album’s musical content. Of course, the song’s musical content is not all that is worth examining. The song’s lyrical content adds to its appeal in its own right.
The song’s lyrical content delivers an uplifting message that couples well with the upbeat sense in the work’s musical arrangement. Front man Brendan Scholz delivers the message right from the song’s opening as he sings, “Only going up from here/Broken in a brand new year/But it’s alright/Something good will come around/Put all their faith in me/In the red with mouths to feed/I fight/They fall and break/I play pretend/I see it/Won’t leave it alone/Believe this or so I’m told/Don’t/But I need to/And it’s okay/Take it from me/Are we just fucked/To live and die unknown/Living with a ghost.” This verse in itself delivers a seeming message of perseverance, accepting one’s situation, but making the best of said circumstances. That message continues as Scholz sings in the song’s second verse, “Honestly I’m ruled by fear/And losing all that I hold dear/But it’s alright/Something good will come around/This idiotic make believe/That I’ll be the man I want to be/But it’s alright/The light is gone/Too weak/I need a friend/I see it/Won’t leave it alone/Believe this or so I’m told/Don’t, but I need to/And it’s OK/Take it from me/Are we just fucked to live and die unknown/Living with a ghost.” Again, that message of accepting the situation but seeing that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel is echoed, just in a different way. That uplifting message couples with the song’s equally upbeat musical arrangement to make clear why this song is such a key addition to Nothing in the Dark. It is just one of the songs that makes the album stand out in this year’s field of new punk and pop punk records. ‘Even If I’ve Lost,’ the record’s finale, is another example of the album’s strength.
‘Even If I’m Lost’ clocks in at just above the two-minute mark. To be precise, its run time is two minutes, 14-seconds. In that short time, the band manages to impress just as much here as at any other point in the record’s run. That is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement. This full-throttle work is comparable to works from Pennywise, Rancid and plenty of other punk bands in terms of its sound and stylistic thanks to its guitar riff, precision time keeping and vocal delivery. Working through this song without a lyrics sheet to reference, the lyrics are difficult to fully decipher. What can be deciphered without lyrics is that the song seems to deliver a message similar to that of the album’s opener.
One can hear at least to a point, Scholz making statements about things not getting any easier, but trying “even if I’ve lost.” There’s also a mention of recognizing how “everyone around you betrays” and “the biggest detriment” being something having to do with “common sense.” Again, not having a lyrics sheet to reference, some of the words get lost amid the instruments. However, enough of this is decipherable to know that the song seems to deliver another uplifting message, this time of not giving p, despite the situation. To that end, if that is in fact the message being delivered, then message and received and appreciated. Together with the song’s positive vibe and fiery energy, the song in whole proves in its own way why the album is worth hearing. It is just one more of the album’s most notable songs, too. The record’s title track does its own part to exhibit the album’s strength.
‘Nothing in the Dark’ offers audiences an acoustic performance from Scholz. It is just him and his guitar here, which makes for its own impact. The song clocks in at just over two-and-a-half minutes, but even in that short time, the emotion delivered through Scholz’s vocals and guitar playing translates well. Together with the lyical content, that impact increases.
Scholz sings in the song’s lead verse, “I’m still awake/Eyes are bleeding/Pain I never wanted to know/You’re finding peace/Sweetly Sleeping/but you know how this one goes/When I go out I’ll be sure/That I go out alone/We can be two lonely people/the way it was before/My body shakes/Not f****** dealing/Wait for me to go…but you know how this one goes/When I go out/I’ll be sure/That I go out alone/We can be two lonely people/The way it was before.” The rest of the song continues in similar fashion with the noted statement about an obvious breakup between a couple. There is a certain intensity in Scholz’s voice as he sings some of the lines. When it is juxtaposed against that simple approach to the song’s arrangement, the emotional impact makes for that much more strength. Considering that impact, when the song is considered along with the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s works, the whole makes the album a record that is sure to appeal to any punk and pop punk fan.
Mercy Music’s new album Nothing in the Dark is a work that punk and pop punk fans alike will agree is worth hearing at least once. That is proven through the album’s musical and lyrical content. As evidenced here, the musical arrangements are catchy and infectious while the lyrical content is accessible in its own right, adding even more to the record’s appeal. All thee of the songs addressed here serve to support the noted statements. When they are considered with the rest of the album’s works, the whole becomes a work that punk and pop punk fans will agree deserves its own moment in the light. The album is available now. More information on the record is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
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