February 25, 2014 - No Sleep
Nashville, Tennessee's Daisyhead are relative newcomers, forming in 2012 and recently finding a home on No Sleep Records. For their official label debut, they lead off a four-song split with their friends in Have Mercy. “Dishonest” enters with that one dulled rhythm guitar before all the players show up to party. You can instantly sense the direction of the song; Loud emo-rock with leads dipping in and out. It's simultaneously heavy and harmonized, bringing Balance And Composure's Separation to mind. On their second contribution, “Wonder,” they're so busy plucking on the acoustic we're blindsided with a collision of guitars. This is more like it, the contrast and transition into upbeat territory feels magnetic. The female vocals are a perfect touch, too.
Baltimore's Have Mercy round out the split with two more emo rockers, "Pete Rose And Babe Ruth" and "Pawn Takes Rook." Producer Paul Leavitt recorded them true to form, capturing all the sounds Have Mercy are capable of. Considering his past works include Moneen and the Dangerous Summer, this team-up just makes sense. Leavitt also enabled frontman Brian Swindle to reveal more of himself. “Why am I so happy I could die?” he begs to know, like a new-school Chris Carrabba. "Pete Rose And Babe Ruth" takes the grander approach of Have Mercy's two tunes, swelling up with melodic octaves into a near-standstill at the bridge, then beating the hook home as Swindle shreds his vocal cords.
Both bands show us their strong suit together. We're ready for whatever's coming next from each—hopefully that includes a tour.