Mercy Arms – ‘Half Right’
Completely unrelated to Melbourne’s Damn Arms, this Sydney four piece is one of the biggest buzz band around at the moment and I thought I better jump on the wagon before they get their record out. Much of Mercy Arms’ music is centered around Guitarist Kirin J Calinnan’s amazing guitar work, often hovering around early U2 sounding riffs, partnered with vocalist Thom’s thin Smiths-influenced vocals. It’s hard to describe how good Kirin is on the guitar, when he’s on the melody the whole room seem to be transfixed on his craft, the audience is just sailing through each song on his lead.
Kirin was once member of the Valentinos before leaving to form his own group. He hooked up with some producers based out of Big Jesus Burger Studios to record the now well known demos on their myspace. Manager Todd Wagstaff of Engine Room fame (The Vines, Holly Valance, Veronicas) then picked up the band and put the big wheels in motion. They went on expenses paid showcases for major labels to the US and London and had a few big music industry names flying in for some local gigs, often filled with journalists, agents and A&R reps slipping in to have a look. Rumours of the band signing multi million dollar deals with Capitol, Universal and Modular soon floated around industry circles. We’ll never know if any of them were true, but I have heard recently from reliable sources that the band has signed an international deal so there should be an announcement pretty soon.
So will this band be next big thing? They have all the industry on their side and the songs and live skills to back it up. Recent tours saw them opening huge shows for The Strokes and now they’re on another national tour with Wolf & Cub. The fans are flooding in on myspace and everything else look sweet for these guys. I am very keen to hear the debut album, here’s hoping it’ll stand up to expectations.