I’ve never heard of either of the bands on this split CD, which is always a good thing. Splits usually have some sort of gimmick to them, either that both bands cover each other’s songs or that there is some third band they are paying tribute to. However, this CD has nothing more than four tracks done by each act, a way to get some sort of idea about the band without having to throw down for an entire album. The style of music that Mercy Killers play is something that mixes together acts like Strike Anywhere and Rise Against with the post-Misfits, 45 Grave (and by extension, the Nekromantix and Tiger Army) sound. Thus,, there is a high amount of current sound but that current sound is tempered by the classic influences of Mercy Killers.
The overall sound of a track like “End Transmission” is something that is hard-hitting but steeped in the goth movement of over twenty years ago. Tracks are on the short end of normal but feel longer owing to this goth sound; the ability of Mercy Killers to come forth with four tracks that create such a specific sound speaks volumes to their ability in a full disc style. Enemy Rose actually fit in somewhat well with the sound that is created off the bat by Mercy Killers. There are hints of the style that Mercy Killers play, especially with the walking bass acts common to gothabilly music, but there are hints of a number of styles, not necessarily punk-based that become much more prevalent during Enemy Rose’s music.
This means that “Secrets & Lies” mixes together early Goo Goo Dolls with Husker Du and The Replacements, while “The Way IT Is” is a track that follows heavily in a Stooges vein. Where the Mercy Killers side of the split showed a high amount of cohesion, it seems as if the Enemy Rose side of things espouses a style that shifts with each subsequent track. The disc in toto may only be twenty-three minutes long, but individuals are given a great idea about these two acts. I would have to say that Enemy Rose comes out with a slightly stronger package on this split, but we will just have to see what each band does with the momentum that they received from this disc. Still, there are eight tracks of solid punk-infused music on this disc that no one in their right mind should pass up.
Top Track: Enemy Rose’s “Enemy
Mercy Killers and Enemy Rose – And To Become One / 2006 I Scream Records / 8 Tracks / http://www.enemyrose.com / http://www.mercykillers.com / http://www.iscreamrecords.com / Reviewed 28 July 2006