Mercury Underground are a rock band from Glasgow, Scotland. They released their new EP, produced by Sandy Jones on May 4th 2012, to a great reception. Followed up by a string of ongoing live dates, they have also secured several deals to have their music used in the sports industries by companies from the UK, Germany and the US.
To date, the band have played venues such as Camden Underworld in London, and the world famous venue King Tuts in Glasgow several times, along the way supporting such acts as most recently Adrenaline Mob and Voodoo Six, Gun, Sick Puppies, Attica Rage and The Sword (during their tour with Metallica). They have also gained experience in playing European festivals after performing in front of thousands at the MEI Festival in Italy during 2009. Recently the band were selected to play at D-TOX Rockfest, the biggest rock festival in Canada and nominated for a Los Angeles Music Award for Best Hard Rock Band, as well as a Scottish New Music Award for Loud/Metal Recording Of The Year.
Essentially Mercury Underground is a power trio made up of D.R Webster– Vocals/Guitars/Songwriting, Bradley Smith– Bass and Robert Shearer– Drums with the addition of Gavin Paterson on keyboards.
This Ep for me is a blend between nostalgia and modern rock, but really fun and refreshing because we haven’t heard anything like this in a while from indie rock. Not too many bands are taking this daring path towards classic rock with a bluesy, hard edge. The amalgamation of rock styles, while all the rage in young bands, are rarely incorporated in such an organically, eclectic manner.
The Ep tracks:
“Shockwave Solution” – is like a big 70’s flashback. It reminds me of a bit of Grand Funk Railroad, particularly D.R Webster’s vocal phrasing, which is reminiscent of the great Mark Farner. The song is hard, fast and groovin’ but decidedly modern. As the song opened I wasn’t quite prepared for a rock sound, so classic in it’s architecture, but the song just digs in under your skin and won’t leave.
“Stealing Hope” – This is one of those songs, that when it ends, you start it again and again. It takes you to another era that you refuse to leave. Epic, haunting, anthemy, bluesy, all rolled into a great tune. The lyrics are honest, inspirational and seem very appropriate for this band. The song opens with a chiming melodic rhythm that immediately tugs at your soul. The song continues to build to an even better ending with a great solo and ending rhythm. Once again there are strong traces of the 70’s kick butt style of rock. A time when music was fun and the artists knew how to play their instruments
“The Great Escape” – This song seriously gets you addicted. I was at first, attracted to the opening vocals and the incessant guitar riff, but I absolutely fell in love with the overall arrangement of this track. And at two minutes in, when the guitar riff really kick in, leading to a screaming solo, this song is grooving so tight, it blows you away.
The Mercury Underground rhythm section, even though belonging to a slightly different genre style, reminds me of Judas Priest’s awesome guitarist and drummer, always totally in sync with the music, which really makes the EP, and allows everyone else to hit their strengths without a worry. Like the guitar tricks and Bradley Smith’s rugged baselines, which carry Webster’s vocals to solid heights. This is music that happens when guys with this kind of talent get together.
In the last few years there has been some good indie music out there, but very little in the way of hard-driving pure rock and roll. Something you can turn up and blast out at the neighbors. We might just have a serious candidate here, when a full Mercury Underground album is released.
In the meantime, anyone who likes good hard rocking music should give this Ep a listen.