Music News

The Mooney Suzuki

With lead guitarist Graham Tyler absent, Have Mercy has but a thin tether to the Mooney Suzuki's rawer Ramones edge, spotlighting instead singer Sammy James Jr.'s desire to sound like David Lee Roth rewriting Exile on Main Street between county fair appearances. There's inspiration, and then there's fellatio; Have Mercy leans embarrassingly toward the latter, even incorporating a Rolling Stones shout-out into "Rock N Roller Girl" for the benefit of the hearing impaired who might have missed the shoplifted riffs. If the lyrics had any heft, Have Mercy could be salvaged from being savaged; alas, it's polluted with nonsense-damaged lines like "Everybody wants someone like Adam and Eve," making an already artistically wounded album even worse. Overall, Mercy is jaded rock tourism masquerading as homage, a punishing experience better served by listening to the musicians robbed by this merciless dilution.