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THE MOONEY SUZUKI
Have Mercy
(V2 Records)
by Adam Toth
03.11.07

Chances are you’ve heard the Mooney Suzuki and don’t even know it. Their former hit single, “Alive and Amplified,” played on anything from video games to, yes, Suzuki commercials. But after the success of the song and a major label career that all but failed, the Mooney Suzuki have gone back to their roots and signed with small time label V2.

My only previous experience with Mooney before this album was the aforementioned song, so I can’t compare it to their older music, but I can tell you that compared to other music in general, the album is . . . not bad.

Have Mercy begins with a dancy track that feels straight out of romantic comedy. You know how at the end of the movie, a wedding starts and some semi-famous band makes a cameo as everyone gets on the floor and dances? That’s what this reminds me of. It’s nothing to dislike, but on the same token, it’s very “typical radio rock.”

While the music keeps up pretty well, and most of the instrumentals are toe-tappable, the lyrics failed me the most. I’m sorry, Mooney, but a lot of the writing is undeniably cheesy. Notable lines consist of “We don’t need no” in Adam and Eve, a term that I hoped would die out with “We don’t need no education!” (which in that case they clearly did) and greatest of all, a recurring line in Rock ‘N’ Roller Girl: “But you’ll never be older than dinosaur bones, and you’ll never be older than The Ramones.” There’s plenty of lyrics along this style, especially in "Good Ol’ Alcohol." If you’re up for charming lyrics, you may enjoy these, but I personally find them a cheesy excuse for rhythm and rhyming.

As easy it is to say that this album comes down to preference, I think it’s the truth. You’ll hear plenty of successful bands out there that sound very similar to the Mooney Suzuki, because they can often be entertaining. But on the same token, there will be many people who’ll simply find this music charm-less, like myself. Old school teacher-style, I’m giving
Have Mercy a C+.

More on the Mooney Suzuki:
www.themooneysuzuki.com / www.myspace.com/themooneysuzuki.