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MOTHER MERCY - Dancing With the Devil
Perris Records

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Perris Records Any CD titled Dancing With the Devil reeks of ‘80s metal. The band who released the album, called Mother Mercy, wallows in that ‘80s metal vibe while somehow throwing in a bit of Godsmack right at the end of the CD. The strange part, most of the CD sounds like Love/Hate mixed with Shout at the Devil type anthems. Anyway, the end result works. Mother Mercy is the cure to the bawl baby pissy pants type music permeating the airwaves today, Staind, so have a listen …

Dancing With the Devil is packed with 16 songs, and most of them are worth a listen. Sometimes, they miss, like with the monotonous “Waste of Skin,” which offers the lyrics, “You’re just a waste of skin, waste of skin, you’re just a waste of skin …” over and over. Even when they miss, though, the chugging guitars do bring you back to the days when Motley Crue reigned.

“Machine Gun” is a heavy, dirty metal song, with vocals that jump from Jizzy Pearl to an evil growl. In fact, Jizzy Pearl is the voice you are going to compare vocalist R.J. Blaze with, and with this type of metal, it’s the perfect fit. Blaze can get heavier and eviler than Jizzy, though, and delivers with aplomb.

“Devil Child” sounds more upbeat, like a happy Lillian Axe song, until the lyrics start, of course. This is more of your summer time “drinking and driving” song. Blaze sings lower here, and he sounds almost like he has a Southern Rock vibe going here. Catchy chorus and just a well written tune.

‘80s metal was never known for being Einstein-ian, and Mother Mercy reiterates that with the song “Little Nikki.” You may think this is a song about Adam Sandler’s character, but it’s not. Instead, the song starts with the same drum beat from Toni Basil’s “Mickey” and says, “Oh Nikki you’re so fine, you’re so fine you blow my mind, hey Nikki, yeah Nikki. Whoa, Nikki, you’re a slut, you really like it up the butt, hey Nikki, yeah Nikki yeah!” Doesn’t really matter how the song goes after that, does it?

There are a slew of good songs on this CD. “Invisible” is another one, and when they hit the aforementioned Godsmack vein. This is odd. Gone is Blaze’s Jizzy Pearl/Taime Down voice, and suddenly, you’d swear it was Godsmack. Now, “Invisible” is a cool song as well, but the change in overall sound makes you wonder if they plan on keeping the ‘80s sound going into the future. “Kicking and Screaming” is the same way; an intensely heavy, guitar-driven song with the patented Godsmack “yeah!” at the end of the “sung” lines. While these songs are good, they don’t fit the overall CD sound.

Mother Mercy has been around since about 1993. They have gone through a myriad of lineup changes, and for now, have cemented a crew for long enough to release this CD. Maybe that’s why they don’t always stay in the same genre, but in the end, it’s metal, it’s ALL metal, and it’s all good.

(Addendum: Checking the band's Web site, it looks as if Mother Mercy is now dead and buried, and singer R.J. Blaze is now fronting JUGULUR. So, RIP, band that gave us "Little Nikki.")

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