The Mercy House

A Broken State of Bliss

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They say timing is everything, and it could very well be on the side of British heavy rockers Mercy House as they unleash their debut album, A Broken State of Bliss, in 2012. After all, some of the band's biggest influences -- Alice in Chains, Soundgarden -- have blazed the comeback trail, while others like Guns 'N Roses and Velvet Revolver are either trading on old glories or still out there looking for a new singer, so why shouldn't the Mercy House step up to the plate of opportunity and swing for the fences? First single "Greed" encapsulates the Mercy House sound as efficiently as you would hope: by welding ball-shrinking Axl screams and angst-ridden Layne Staley baritones onto textbook Cantrell riffs (groovy, downtuned, and mid-paced) for a hybrid familiarity later duplicated with varying quality throughout the album (highlights include "My Disease," "Unclean," and the title cut). Obviously, these songs' familiar sonic hallmarks wind up stuffing the Mercy House men "in a box" (so to speak) that's musically all-too-predictable, but they generally work regardless, or perhaps because they are all-too-predictable. Lest we forget, such is the way with established music templates (including the "softer side" displayed by the group on "The End"), is it not? So now it remains to be seen whether the timing is indeed right for the Mercy House's ascension. The band had just better pray that Slash and company don't hear A Broken State of Bliss and decide to poach singer Drew Davies for their own vacancy.

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