In the three years since the release of Alive & Amplified, New York City outfit the Mooney Suzuki has endured a host of hardships — from leaving Columbia and signing with V2 (only to be dropped by the latter upon the label’s demise in February 2006) to personnel shake ups (guitarist Graham Taylor left), and creative uncertainty (a new album without a home), the future for Mooney Suzuki didn’t look too bright. But guitarist/vocalist Sammy James Jr. took it on, alone, armed with an acoustic guitar, and crafted the barroom-soaked Have Mercy, the band’s long-awaited fourth album out via Elixia June 19th.
Instead of relying on the usual garage rock axe shredding heard on previous Mooney Suzuki studio efforts, James and crew focused on fine-tuning the basics. The jubilant, guitar-driven “First Comes Love” showcases the Mooney Suzuki’s newfound songcraft — vibrant, hook-laden melodies lush with catchy, heartfelt vocals. With echoes of Bruce Springsteen’s The River and Elvis Costello’s Armed Forces, “First Comes Love” tells that classic love story — a boy named Johnny, the high school rebel, gets kicked out of school for drugs. Jenny, your typical high school sweetheart, falls for him and his bad boy ways. But as the story goes, love doesn’t always conquer all as James attests, “First comes love then comes complication.”
Will you ‘have mercy’ on “First Comes Love?”
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