Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Hey Mercedes - EP
In high school, I LOVED Braid. As the ska phase I went through for the first half of high school began to fade I started delving into the realm of emo and hardcore, constantly searching for something even more underground. I bought the First Day Back b/w Hugs from Boys 7" at Bizzy Bee in Naperville along with a My Lai 7" and thought I was so cool. I listened to those records constantly and from there my obsession with Braid and all things emo began. I was fortunate enough to see Braid twice before they broke up. Once with Less than Jake and ALL where they were LITERALLY booed for their entire set. It was like something out of a movie and an occurrence I have never seen again. I felt awful for them as they sounded incredible, but apparently it was not their crowd. I still remember some really fat guy wearing a Teen Idols t-shirt making crying noises and rubbing his eyes in a mocking fashion (you know cause they were, "Emo." He was very clever). Vinnie from Less than Jake had to come out mid-set and yell at everyone and for some reason when he defended Braid everyone started clapping as if they weren't just heckling five seconds prior. It was such a blatant 180 and it made me immediately disgusted with 90% of the morons in attendance. It was also one of my first lessons that the majority of individuals involved in punk rock are full of shit and will change their stance at the drop of a hat.
The other time I saw Braid was at one of their last shows at the Fireside Bowl. It was crowded and hot because it was early August, but they played a great set determined by a giant wheel with all of their songs on it. People from the crowd would spin the wheel and whatever song it landed on is what they would play. They were fantastic and I was bummed I slept on seeing them for so many years. The next day they played a show at the Metro and a "secret" show afterward at the Fireside and I didn't know anything about it. It was very upsetting seeing as I spent the entire day at a poorly attended Piebald/Still Life show. Had I stuck around the Fireside afterward I would have been able to see Braid again. Such is life.
So, with Braid's dissolution came the formation of Hey Mercedes (and the more serious pursuit of Chris Broach's project, The Firebird Band). I was upset about the end of Braid, but Hey Mercedes was a worthy replacement in my eyes as they more or less picked up where Braid left off on the Please Drive Faster 7", albeit less mathy. Each of the four songs on their debut EP are incredibly catchy rock songs with Bob Nanna's typically interesting lyrics. I was 18 when this was released and always thought about the line, 24, not a kid anymore, are you kidding? in "St. James Street" and being 24 seemed so far off. Now I'm 27 and it remains an interesting lyric to me as it's incredibly true. Turning 24 is kind of the end of being a kid and really facing things on your own and making a life for yourself.
As Hey Mercedes continued, the quality of their output got increasingly spotty, but this record is solid and still deserves the attention 9 years later.
Hey Mercedes - EP