A little while back, Spotify recommended I listen to the group Mercy Union, as their single “Totem” had just dropped, along with a cover of Strike Anywhere‘s “Infared”. I took a chance and spun the track, and was hit instantly. The huge guitar riffs, the soul punk vocals, the thundering drums, all building up to a melodically infectious chorus that shines with a touch of the 80’s AOR sound.
Prior to the single, the group released its debut album, The Quarry, in 2018. Listening to this solidified Mercy Union as true Bad Ass Break-Outs. “Fever Dreams” has a bluesy, classic rock guitar line that sounds like vintage Tom Petty. Single “Chips and Vics” grooves like The Police until the soaring pop punk chorus comes in. Then there’s the devastating “Layovers”, where Hart laments “I’ve run out of ways to tell you I’m barely holding on” over mournful harmonica playing. It’s just one great song after another.
The group obviously comes boasting the impressive pedigree of Benny Horowitz of The Gaslight Anthem (an all-time favorite) and Jared Hart of The Scandals, and the album was recorded with Pete Steinkopf of The Bouncing Souls. There’s always been something special about the Jersey punk sound, and Mercy Union are carrying on its tradition in excellent form.
Take a listen to some of their tracks in our Bad Ass Break-Outs Playlist below: