Hope Atlantic – Mercy Street Choir EP
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: September 18, 2010
Although Hope Atlantic play rock music, they are kinda hard to categorize. At times there’s hints of Gaslight Anthem punk. But then the parlor piano comes in, and our heads are spinning and bopping at the same time. The vocals go from dive-bar gruff to angelically clean, sometimes within the same song (“Lost At Sea”). Which, yeah, is nice, I guess, if you care about bonus points like creativity. If you don’t care about creativity, or if you’re just a person with some ears, then the Mercy Street Choir EP will work for you, too. Because at its heart, all this EP ends up becoming is a few songs from a few Canadian guys who understand storytelling and melody. Lots of lines are toed, and lots of fun is had.
Despite having former members of bands I probably hate (Sick City and some band described as being both “progressive” and “metal,” yuck, right?!), this EP is both enthralling and sorta benign. Few wacko chances are taken or needed. On songs like “Cheap Summer” and “Oklahoma” the band’s punk roots are laced with country music-influenced nuances like strings and a certain indefinable “twangy” quality. And remember, they’re Canadian! Don’t cry fake accent wolf too soon, though, because the band’s ringleader Jordy Heppner spent some time in Oklahoma where many of these songs first took shape. So although this style may have started off foreign, it became the norm after time on the range, or whatever colloquialism they use in Oklahoma.
Point is, this part punk-part rock-part country mixture makes for a sound that can fit lots of different palettes. Heck, it can fit your (I’m sure!) extremely diverse palette with different songs on different days. It’s an ear chameleon, which is definitely not a thing I just made up right now. So I guess what I’m saying in way too many words is that Mercy Street Choir rocks like a mofo. Even if you’re schizophrenic.
Recommended If You Like: Alaska & Me, Gaslight Anthem, Jack's Mannequin?
I love the song Oklahoma. First heard it on the radio and looked the band up. Was pumped when I found out they're local! I've since been to 3 of their shows and think they're fantastic. Looking forward to a full album.