Saturday, March 16, 2013

Review: Band Of Mercy - Conquest

Well, boys and girls, welcome to the arena. Band of Mercy is a vegan hardcore band [featuring ex-members of Die Young (TX)] that is so adamantly convicted of their lifestyle that they make Earth Crisis lyrics look like U2's. Band Of Mercy is not just about spreading the "good news" of Veganism, they're all about Jihad-style conversion; convert or be crushed. So, without further ado, I'm going to let the songs speak for themselves.

You must hate yourself:

"Eat To Win" - Starting off the album with Metallica's "Trapped Under Ice"-style acoustic guitar is something I would expect roughly zero bands to do nowadays. But, when the intro leads in to Motorhead-riffs, there's nothing else I can think of that would be a better intro. This song is not only a kickass ode to their thrashing forefathers, but a new breath of stylistic Veganism. Hell, they even tell you what to eat. If I wasn't already vegan, this song would scare the shit out of me, with lyrics like, "Show them a vegan like they've never seen, primed to deliver one million ass beatings!" Also, they address the classic omnivore question, and answer accordingly, "Where do I get my protein? What, are you a fuckin' idiot?" 3 Minutes of fast, thrashing hardcore. Bang your head.

"You Must Hate Yourself" - It is a fact that somewhere, right now, Lemmy from Motorhead is listening to this song and shitting himself. Aside from the killer riffs, the thought-provoking lyrics pose interesting commentary on the lifestyle of American eating. Listing through several, "normal" eating habits of modern humans, this song is a powerful mirror, reflecting the lifestyle that is slowly and surely killing us all. "I wouldn't give a fuck if you destroyed yourself, but your actions affect more than you."

"Building A Culture" - This track follows suit with their Vegan Jihad, making sure that animal cruelty is a forefront issue in everyone's mind. Raising awareness for the most incredible cause over 2:18 of scathing guitars, neck-snapping snare, and the tightest, blast from the past solo that's been in a hardcore song since the 80s. "We've come to fucking conquer!"

"Feral Nights" - The opening riff is reminiscent of Minor Threat's "Look Back And Laugh" (one of my personal favorites of ever), and is quickly followed by evocative, bone-breakingly slow and crushingly powerful verses, that proclaim an incredibly sensual message through the use of first person narrative. I mean, I think it's sexual. It would be out of place, but... Yeah, it's gotta be sexual. Which I'm pretty much all about. Right on, Band of Mercy.

"No Breed Nation" - Wow. This song is the most heartbreaking and sobering song on the album--for me, personally, at least. This song tackles the issue of Spaying/Neutering your pets, and presents an all too realistic picture of abandoned/stray animals. On top of the lyrics, the riffs continue, never too fast, but just groovy and heavy enough to convey the message of the song. Honestly, this album's lyrics are so impacting that it's actually easy to forget that there's some of the greatest hardcore punk available right now playing over it.

"Conquest" - The second longest song on the album, opening with classic, treble-heavy, punk-beat lead guitar and dual vocals. Awesome. When this song plays, I just see all the black and white pictures of hardcore shows from the 80s, with the circle pits, and aggression, and stagedives. This song and album have revitalized the style that so many of us missed in our own youth, and what we always wish we could see live. So, here it is!

"Hey Vegans!" - Kick ass bonus track! This song is personally affecting for me, being part of the vegan lifestyle. Without accidentally being cheesy as hell, I can say that the sounds of this track, as well as the sentiment, are incredibly kick ass, and refreshing for me to see. "They call us fags and terrorists, but let them say what they fucking want, 'cause they don't know who the fuck they're dealing with!"

Whether or not you live a vegan lifestyle, you should and will love this band, and pick up an album. These guys kicked this album's ass, and you better watch what you eat, or they'll kick your ass, too!