Vol. 2, Issue #18 Sept. 28th - October 11th, 2007

CD Reviews: The Mooney Suzuki - Have Mercy
By: Graham Lee Brewer

Once pioneers, nay, visionaries, of the retro revival that sprung from the cracks of the sidewalk of modern rock like a flower made of tapestry, The Mooney Suzuki finds itself wilting. From the onset of their musical partnership, front man Sammy James Jr. and guitarist Graham Tyler shared that fabled guitarist/singer dynamic that defined so many of the classic rock legends that surfaced in Suzuki’s music so vividly. Sadly, paired with business troubles and the loss of Tyler’s father, their once incendiary songwriting collaboration has faded woefully into an album comprised of James’ attempt to go it alone.

With the exception of opener “99%” and the title track, “Have Mercy,” Tyler’s absence can be felt all throughout the album by the way of its lack of guitar flare and catchiness. The intoxicating beats and riffs of Suzuki’s past have been scrapped away, leaving jangly acoustic failures and unfortunate attempts at drug reference glamour.

It saddens me to see a band that was at one time the quintessential revival band become so bleak and, for the lack of a better word, dated. They have failed to mature, which oddly enough, is something we all expected from them. While it may be somewhat peculiar to expect such radical evolution from a band that derives most of its influence from classic rock, progression is what defined those classic rock icons to begin with. Should we expect any less from The Mooney Suzuki?

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©2007 NONCO Media, L.L.C.