At Mercy’s Edge – Joseph Parsons (reviewed by T. Bebedor)

I get to hear lots of music that falls under the country/Americana/rock banner, some of it good, some of it not so good and some of it relying on the tried and tested subject matter of tractors, whiskey joints and runaways. So, I say this with some experience that it’s refreshing to hear a band committed to simply putting together a good album. 

Music, in its basic form, is pretty simple, if you can match up good musicians to good music and good song writing, you should end up with something worthy of taking into a studio and recording, Joseph Parson’s new album, ‘At Mercy’s Edge’ is a solid album of rocky country music and should appeal to most fans of the genre.

At the heart of the music is a strong band, I think it’s safe to say that the drummer is having a great time and he drives the music with a passion that somehow feels missing from most of the music in this bracket. There are times for intelligent fills that sound impressive without wanting to steal the thunder from the overall sound of the music. We have guitar riffs aplenty, catchy choruses and a strong vocal performance by Parsons who, having been slugging away for thirty years, has very little to learn in delivery or craft.

There are some standout tracks, opener ‘Greed On Fire’ acts as a three-minute taster, the chances are if you like this track, you’ll do well to listen to the following nine songs. 

‘Last One In’ has the vibrato, Mexican-flavoured guitar that could have been lifted from a Tarantino or Lynch movie, I would love to hear a slowed-down version of this, a dirty, last-dance atmosphere to match the overall feel.

The music is just varied enough to hold the attention and at no point does it feel as if the band have found a tempo and decided to repeat and rehash earlier efforts, this is good stuff.

If you like intelligent song writing against a backdrop of powerful rhythm topped off with guitar riffs and solos, this might be an album worth seeking out. It’s a step above most of what is on offer and with over a dozen more albums in the back catalogue, it could be a discovery that keeps on giving.

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