by Scott Hefflon
Ours wastes no time with Mercy. Within seconds, you’re floored by Jimmy Gnecco’s passionate voice, and you wonder why everyone you know hasn’t been talking about how great this CD is. Perhaps your friends suck, or they’re indie posers, or record labels don’t have the budget to push records in front of your eyes and ears like they used to, and you’re distracted by the glut of “MySpace Bands” trying to be your friend, bragging about yet another shitty song they’ve added to their page. Yeah? I just took a big dump, you don’t see me sending out a MySpace bulletin, do you?
Ours came out soon after Muse (2000 and 2001), and both young bands let everyone in earshot know that U2 was once a really great band, and they could be matched and topped, due to better production and stronger musical umph (sorry Edge, Muse borders on metal sometimes, with breakdown cha-chunk to match the breakdown sobs, all of which make for a more cohesive musical assault than Bono has ever allowed cuz it draws the attention away from him).
Ours historical lesson: The debut, Distorted Lullabies, knocked us on our asses. Sure, it was kinda front-loaded and dragged by the end, but what a wallop the front end packed! Precious was a let-down, and I can’t recall a single song off it. (If Ours released anything since, I missed it, and I run a rock magazine.) Mercy comes out swinging, and it’s jaw-dropping time again. There are songs here that, like the debut, will make you stop what you’re doing and stare slack-jawed at the speaker. Hypnotic, powerful, gorgeous, perfect stuff here.