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Loses Control

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Album Review

On its second full-length, Loses Control, emo punk-pop band Hey Mercedes cashes in on the promise it exhibited on its previous records. The album has 12 streamlined, hooky pop songs that just happen to have loud guitars. The band strips back some of its aggression and punk angularity and ends up with songs like "Quality Revenge at Last" and "Boy Destroyers," which are barely punk at all. Or emo either, as they exhibit none of that nearly played-out style's over-the-top emotionalism and instead go for a tone of cynical and detached melancholy. Bob Nanna's singing is sweet and powerful but doesn't ever dip into emo's ripping pages from my diary and weeping mode. Instead he sounds like he should be in Fotomaker or Artful Dodger or some other long lost and forgotten power pop band. The whole record sounds like a modern, super-charged update on obscure power pop, especially on riffy songs like "The Switch" and "Playing Your Song." Only the sound is more immediate and powerful than most power pop ever was. Loses Control isn't perfect. One or two of the tracks are on the generic side, and the smooth production by Sean Slade and Paul Q. Kolderie tends to make the songs sound similar by the end of the disc. Still if you need a punk-pop, not really emo fix, Loses Control will help you out. Even the slightly generic songs sound good enough for a mixtape, and taken all together the songs add up to one of the most satisfying rock records of 2003 and one of the best punk-pop, not really emo records too. It's right up there with Bleed American and Something to Write Home About.


Formed: April, 2000 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Born of the ashes of the now legendary Chicago emo outfit Braid, Hey Mercedes had a tough reputation, not to mention their work cut out for them from the start. It all began in mid-'99, when Braid decided to call it quits and original guitarist Chris Broach left the group. They closed out their career with a series of well-received and well-documented local shows before Broach went on to work with his other act, the Firebird Band, and the remaining members -- guitarist vocalist Bob Nanna, drummer...
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Loses Control, Hey Mercedes
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