Sometimes in the course of writing this column I learn that there’s a significant discrepancy between what the world of the internet will tell you about a band and what your ears will tell you. For example, we have Have Mercy, a Baltimore band that is described online as “rock” and is, upon listening to any of their three albums, clearly better described by the phrase “emo as fuck.” I mean, granted, they aren’t as energetic as Taking Back Sunday, taking a more pensive approach to their midtempo riffs and lovelorn vocals, but I definitely hear more of Gates or Moving Mountains here than… I dunno, what’s rock in 2017? Of Mice And Men? Falling In Reverse? Is Nickelback still together?
Anyway, I should probably mention the fact that Have Mercy leader Brian Swindle purged and restructured the group’s entire lineup before the release of their latest album, Make The Best Of It. Despite what you may fear, though, the band hasn’t lost a step, and are still primed to get everyone in the crowd sighing as they bob back and forth to this band’s excellently emotional music. This tour sees Have Mercy joined by a trio of out-of-town bands, making this a local-free show. Pure Noise Records signees Boston Manor (who strangely hail not from the New England but the merrie old one across the pond) are the standouts, and make an excellent companion piece to Have Mercy with the songs from their 2016 debut LP, Be Nothing, having much in common with Have Mercy’s latest stuff. Can’t Swim, whose name makes me imagine a gimmick band that goes on stage in life jackets (they probably don’t actually do this), and A Will Away will round out the lineup here. Bring a sweater.