Make The Best Of It
Genre: Alternative Rock
Release Date: April 21, 2017
Label: Hopeless Records
I like to reflect on the music that I listened to as a teenager a great deal. They say that your music taste starts to disintegrate as you get older, that you start to veer away from what you once loved. I've never been like that; the "old" music I encountered in my youth shaped me into the person that I am today, and I find myself yearning for those songs even more now that I'm an adult and life has proverbially hit me in the face. It's rare when you find an artist that can invoke those feelings of nostalgia, having never previously listened to them before. Have Mercy's Make The Best Of It is one of my favorite records of the year. Each song remarkably portrays some pivotal emotion that each one of us experiences growing up. It's not teen angst, but more of a reflection on our past selves. From the start of opener "Smoke and Lace",
The track that truly got me was "Drive", the emotional second track of the album. The song recounts a story in which the subject recounts picking up the girl he fell in love with, and how they would just drive. "You used to call me late to pick you up", he screams over a guitar-laden chorus while a drum-fill permeates the background. I went through something similar in my life, and I immediately felt this connection. Some songs do that, and when you encounter that moment, it makes for a beautiful moment. It makes you feel like you're not alone in the world, and that there is another human being out there that understand what you've gone through in the past.
The whole album feels incredibly autobiographical, recounting stories of love, loss, and coming of age. Given that the sole member of the band at this moment in time is vocalist/guitarist Brian Swindle, it's safe to assume that the material is coming from a deeply personal place. Instrumentally, many verses are soft-spoken before gradually building up in a crescendo that explodes with emotional impact and soaring instrumentation. Make The Best Of It is about coming to terms with the shit that life throws at you, and well, making the best of the hand that you're dealt. Don't sleep on this one.