As we wait for their new album later this year, The Mercy Kills only escalate the anticipation with the release of their debut EP, New Rule. Originally uncaged in 2010 but only available as a short run of CDs and never officially released, the EP is a compelling look at the genesis of a sound which has evolved record by subsequent record. With its tracks having been reworked for this new outing, it equally sparked the imagination as to what comes next with the Melbourne quartet, a teasing of their potential and the possible growth of their dirtily sleazy punk ‘n’ roll sound already working away a decade ago.
Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Mark E, bassist/vocalist Jen X Costello, guitarist/vocalist Nathalie Gellé and drummer Josh Black, The Mercy Kills whetted the appetite for the ‘next chapter’ in their creative riot with the release of the X EP last year, a collection of hand-picked re-mastered tracks by the Australian rockers which best represented the band’s journey to date. Even so it was impossible not to be intrigued as to what is next in their adventure and upcoming full-length and though songs bred in their opening days as a band, the New Rule EP sparks the same curiosity with its tracks sounding as fresh as the day they burst free and full of creative suggestion.
The ‘non-release’ of New Rule has always felt like “a thorn in their side” and led to its revisit and proper outing via Golden Robot Records and from the first moments of opener I Wanna you can only offer eager thanks. The track strides in on a surge of riffs whilst swinging punchy rhythms and swiftly it was under the skin and manipulating body and senses even as it settles into a suggestive pose with electronic tempting. It is a prowling seduction which is full command and truly forceful once its rousing chorus erupts. Akin to a fusion of Nine Inch Nails and The Vibrators, the track is a striking introduction to the band but as said earlier even in these opening three minutes with them is a fruitful hint to richer adventure, some of which is soon explored within the release itself.
The EP’s title track follows and it too immediately and enjoyably imposed its presence and character on ears. It has a more sleazy hard rock nurtured breath to its rapacious stroll, every note stalking the listener as vocals stir with attitude and harmonic backing offers its lures while successor, So Many Times, captivated with a more post punk seeded nagging and punk rock bred harassing. Both songs reveal the variety of flavours in the band’s sound which has only grown ever since and the fertility of the band’s imagination which likewise has only found more fertility.
Fall is next and still with a firm hand on our favourite Mercy Kills encounter, a grip which only tightens every time it winds that first initial sonic wire around ears and hypnotises the senses with its truculently animated rhythms. As band shouts anthemically ignite instincts, the song’s post punk nagging and pugnacious groove proves pure addiction and over the years this has become as irresistible to the band’s fans as its swinging rhythms have been to their subservient bodies.
The release is completed by the predacious contagion that is Go, a track which also reveals itself a compelling prowler prone to agitated uproar and devious temptation. Equally though, it offers another aspect to the band’s sound in its invention and flavouring; again something only expanded over time as the band established their creative individuality and rebellious punk ‘n roll personality.
Firmly deserving of its first official release, the New Rule EP makes for a great look back to where The Mercy Kills rebel rousing started and a tasty appetiser for new riots soon to be unleashed so come one come all we holler.
The New Rule EP is released February 12th via Golden Robot Records.
Pete RingMaster 11/02/2021
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