Hey Mercedes – Everynight Fire Works – Review

Hey Mercedes

Everynight Fire Works (Vagrant)
by Tim Den

Even though I loved Hey Mercedes‘ debut EP, I was a bit worried about how their full-length was gonna come together. Having seen them perform most of Everynight Fire Works live, the tunes seemed unnecessarily long, sluggish, and monotone. Boy am I glad these recordings proved me wrong! Sure, it took a few listens to understand why the ex-Braid boys chose to repeat a certain verse or chorus two too many times, but eventually you get their intentions by paying close attention to the details and realize that Bob Nanna’s sneaky melodies are just too good not to repeat. If you thought the later Braid stuff (and the Hey Mercedes debut) had unexpected hooks and punchlines, wait ’til you hear “Every Turn,” “Que Shiraz,” and especially “Let’s Go Blue.”

Nanna’s play with dipping register, tricky punctuation, and odd-tempo melody breaks (thanks in large part to the entire band’s fondness for math rock time signatures) have leapt beyond indie rock expectations and into the realm of just pure songwriting. Considering how many indie rock vocalists can’t even hum a tune, that’s saying a lot. And let’s not forget his lyrical, the devil-playing-innocent, we-are-hip-intellectuals-who-party-fuckin’-hard word usage. All of this, plus an anchor of a production by J. Robbins (who can do no wrong) and a mighty helping of angular riffs/pulverizing good times rock, means Everynight Fire Works has enough stuffing to bloat any indie rock lover’s turkey.
(2118 Wilshire Blvd. #361 Santa Monica, CA 90403)