Review by Shannon Shumaker
Pop-punk acts Have Mercy and Somos make the perfect combination for a split EP. Have Mercy, with punchy choruses and gravely yet melodic vocals compliment Somos’ lower vocals, mellow tones and bass heavy sound well. While split EPs can be a bit hard to judge a band’s sound accurately by, the combination that Have Mercy and Somos have made on this EP is definitely captivating.
Right off the bat, Have Mercy definitely manage to hook you with the emotional acoustic version of their track “Two Years.” Acoustically, “Two Years” is a soft and quiet stripped down version of the original track, which makes the lyrics even more prominent and meaningful. The emotion is high in Brian Swindle’s voice is high in this rendition, but the chorus doesn’t quite pack as big of a punch as the original. Have Mercy’s following track, a cover of Jackson Browne’s “Somebody’s Baby,” however, is high energy and definitely hosts that raw energy and emotion that is a driving force in much of their music. While the cover steps away from the original version of the track quite a bit, Have Mercy pull it off flawlessly. The unclean, gravely vocals are what makes the song so strong and makes the chorus hit as hard as it does alongside, mellow clean verses.
Following Have Mercy’s two tracks is Somos’ “Streets Upon Streets” and the transition between the two bands is perfect. While the vocal work is definitely the strong point in Have Mercy’s two songs, the guitar work in “Streets Upon Streets” is very prominent. On top of that, the chorus is catchy, inviting and easy to listen to. Vocally, though, Somos really shine on their acoustic version of “Domestic.” The soft guitar work really gives Michael Fiorentino a chance to showcase his vocal abilities, and he definitely doesn’t disappoint.
I think the only complaint I have about this EP is its length. Again, split EPs are a challenging format for bands, who each only have two tracks to sell themselves. While Have Mercy and Somos’ acoustic tracks on this EP are absolutely gorgeous, they almost leave me wanting more, considering that both bands also really shine on their high-energy full band tracks. That’s not to say that all four songs on this EP aren’t strong, though. If anything, it leaves me wanting more and excited to go listen to more of both bands’ material, which is exactly what a good split EP should do.
Listen to "Somebody's Baby" by Have Mercy and "Streets Upon Streets" by Somos