But wallowing in nostalgia isn’t the only reason I’m currently digging “An Act of Mercy.” There’s a fine art to distilling one’s influences this aggressively — it isn’t enough to evoke the sounds of the acts you love, unless you’re using them to pursue something fresh in the bargain, and at least judging from this track, the Mercy Beat have a tight grip on the fundamentals of Pop Songwriting 101. “An Act of Mercy” is spilling over with hooks, all coming at you in waves: the aforementioned riff, the insistent background vocals, a killer pre-chorus that’s liable to make pop fiends laugh out loud the first time they hear it.
Plus, it has a good beat. You know, one you can dance to.
The group’s debut record will be out this summer, and based on “An Act of Mercy,” I’m eager to listen — and if they can somehow manage to sustain the balancing act they’ve pulled off here over the course of an entire record, I think I’ll be listening a lot.