June 14, 2007


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Mooney Suzuki, Have Mercy
Elixia Records, 2007

Two birds are killed with this stone: the questionable need for Spin Doctors version 2.0 and the unequivocal need for hipsters to lighten up a sec and explore their Shut Up And Slug Back A Little Domestic Beer side. Have Mercy is their fifth full-length, the latest chapter in their stroll down the path of least-resistant bar band rock, the highlights of which have been appearances on soundtracks for video games (Madden 2005 and ATV Off-Road Fury 3) and not-all-bad movies (Fun With Dick and Jane and Grandma’s Boy). They’ve extracted a few nonstandard ingredients from cellar-fungus-moistened BTO and Mungo Jerry albums to improve upon the For Dummies recipe for sanitized, upbeat 70s rock, not that intro track “99%” and its daring daylight robbery of “Big Old Jet Airliner” proves me right. The one to watch is “This Broke Heart of Mine,” whose singalong verse finds common ground between Guns N Roses and the Shondells. C+ — Eric W. Saeger