Mercy Killers/Enemy Rose - ...and To Become One

[Well, no it's not the Spice Girls single… (Sadly!)]

Split punk records are an effective way to slap out talent that may otherwise be overlooked by labels. Usually at least one worthy act is present but in this case finding a frontrunner may be elusive.

L.A's Mercy Killers kick it off, utilising catchy riffs and tremolo retro punk tones of the 80s. Influences of oldies like The Damned and TSOL can be found in the mix. 'Lust for Hope' opens slow, surging with guitar reverb before pounding rhythm section combines. Even though track 2 'End Transmission' crashes harder; their traditional pop-punk style reverberates throughout, incorporating a firm pace and vocal eeriness.

Lastly, 'I'm Not Wasted' is a satisfyingly haunted sleaze pop piece that marks its territory fondly. Although easily overlooked, the Killers create a memorable enough presence to tickle my affection. Punk fans of yesteryears milieu may wanna give this one a peek.

Belgian outfit Enemy Rose add more of a sparkle to their punk. Their abrasive glam vocal style and howling guitars generate a rockier pace. Definitely more catchy and garish than the Mercy Killers. Fans of the Stooges and NY Dolls may take heed.

Track 7 "Enemy" is recognisable and sounds instrumentally reminiscent of 'Ever Fallen in Love' by the Buzzcocks, but luckily assorts itself enough to keep you nodding. 'Down enough' closes the EP on a country rock slowie. Anthemic vocals take the lead and wallow out with seeping waves of dying chorus.

These bands occupy a similar sound. It's tempting and difficult to pick a favourite out of them, but one doesn't necessarily have to. Combining their music on this release may truly work to their advantage for retro punks who dig the feel, but may limit any further interest. But hey, slap it on and see what ya reckon.

by Kiran the Killer

Visit the Mercy Killers/Enemy Rose Website