The Wicked Mercy is an Ottawa blues/rock band. With a focus on raw, unlathed power and dedicated, precise musicianship, they have quickly become one of our favourite artists. This page is a collection of Captivate’s ongoing coverage of the band.
LIVE REVIEW #1
The Wicked Mercy wastes no time introducing the listener to their sound. Each show is unique and takes you on a completely different journey. One thing remains constant: raw emotion and the power of their sound. The opening number that night was the heavy Junior Kimbro blues stomp “Get Your Hands Off Her”. The riff is as classic as “The Band” but with brass balls and slick, driving rhythm that pets your ear drums as your throat gets dry.
The show goes on and lead singer Case’s voice takes over the room and the audience’s attention. Jimi Hendrix vocal+guitar harmonies add colour as he bellows out “God knows!…”
Next, the band throws the fans for a twist with Gypsy Eyes and drummer August’s machine-gun like snare beats leading the charge.
Now the band is really firing away and slows it down for a mean, dirty blues number called Take Chances. Case’s vocals are as unforgiving as catching your guy or girl kiss another behind your back. Dave Nado’s wah pedal solo bites like a rattle snake spitting venom.
Lost Boy is followed by a meat n’ potatoes funky Mo-town number called God Knows. It reminded me of the Sheepdogs meets the Allman Brothers, with a touch of James Brown.
“Running Away” is the first encore of the night. The opening chords vaguely remind you of “The Rooster” by Alice n’ Chains but the heavy driving stomp and vocals flow like the Mississippi. A psychedelic midsection of the song can only be described as acid trippin’ and groovy, while ending with a solo that would melt your underwear off.
“Skinny Woman” (an R.L. Burnside cover) ended the show as a crowd favourite. Case stepped up on harmonica duties in a song that just makes you want to get up and dance! Who knew a classic blues song could turn into a party rock anthem.
LIVE REVIEW #2
The Wicked Mercy play a heavy rock’n'roll blues saturated with passionate urgency. A depth of feeling pulsates through ornate layers of nuanced instrumentation, the piercing voice of singer Case Bronson wailing and weaving its way through labyrithine themes of love and anger, heartache and betrayal, longing and suppressed pain. The impression created is one of beautiful violence, the violence of the heart opposing the world, and through music triumphing over the pain of both.
Herein is the glory of these songs; there is transcendence in them. Victory over all shadows overcomes the aggressive sorrow driving these songs, and a nirvana is attained, a sense of transient perfection hanging over the music like a halo of smoke. Definitely a band with a lot of promise, likely to be making big waves in the Ottawa scene in the near future.
Video content, live recordings, photos and press will continue to be added as Captivate Creative Studios coverage of The Wicked Mercy’s development continues.