October 12, 2006

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Planes Mistaken for Stars, Mercy
Abacus Recordings, 2006

Mercy ranks among the heaviest non-thrash releases of the year if not the decade, and now a quick personal aside to the band. Don’t be too bummed about Funeral For a Friend dissing you backstage at that New Jersey Skate and Surf metalpalooza dumbness after they’d confessed in print to lifting their moniker from one of your songs. Talking shop (or actually anything) with Funeral is about as enriching as watching Ashton Kutcher ponder geometry; they have nothing to say and will eventually find themselves being used as a dust-mop by AFI. That said, it’s up to everyone to spread word of this band’s mightiness to all who thought there was no direction left for emo other than backward to its punkist roots: Gared O’Donnell fixes the whole sordid mess by vicking Matt Pike’s Lemmy, adding quanta more range to it, and instructing his drummer to ride the cymbals as if he were in Iron Butterfly, all this managing more anger in one refrain than let’s say Funeral For a Friend could handle in an entire album. Throw them a bullhorn and an 808 and they’d be Ministry. A-

— Eric W. Saeger