Album Review: Have Mercy – ‘Make The Best Of It’

Posted: by The Editor

Albums come and go in cyclical rotation for me. When Turnover’s Peripheral Vision came out, I spent the summer driving back and forth from the beach to that album on repeat. Then when winter came I put it away, and revisited something I had discovered in a previous year to push me through the cold desolate air of  a New England winter. Maybe it’s just the place, but I’m not convinced this is just me. A few weeks ago, right around dusk, I got in my car and drove to a familiar place, just to the tune of a new drum.

That drum was the anthemic pounding of Make The Best Of It’s opener, “Smoke And Lace”. Sometimes I wish albums came with instruction manuals because this one would read: “Get in your car. Drive, with the sun to your back, casting a shadow over a vague destination in your mind, and press play.”

Have Mercy have cultivated an intense following through heartfelt, earnest songs, and there’s no loss of that on their latest endeavor. From the first track’s flawless transition to “Drive”, my personal favorite on the album, it’s clear that this band has no intention of slowing down anytime soon.

“Coexist” (video below) is a testament to The Earth Pushed Back, a perfectly balanced medium paced ripper topped off with belted laments of past loves from vocalist Brian Swindle, showing everyone that while the band has progressed, they still wrote those same songs that we first fell in love with.

Just when you think you’ve found the groove and the album becomes background music, Have Mercy mix it up and rejuvenate your love for them all over again. Standouts like “Ghost”, “American Bliss”, and “Good Christian Man” show the band’s versatility and ability to weave a delicate web around a haunting melody.

Overall, I think Make The Best Of It is Have Mercy’s strongest collective piece of work to date. There may be songs on older albums that I appreciate more than some on here, but the band has truly written a solid record through and through with this one, and I don’t think it could’ve come at a better time.

7.6 / 10

Listen to Make The Best Of It on Spotify

Order the record on vinyl, CD or digitally at their merch store.

– Chris Musser