Have MeRcy

El­liot Smith has his wall in LA, The Bea­tles have Abbey Road, Park­way Drive have the dis­ap­pear­ing street sign, and now Hand Of Mercy have their own mon­u­ment to mosh­core. By Dave Dray­ton.

Blunt - - Up Front -

In Novem­ber last year, sand­wiched be­tween the Never Say Die Euro­pean tour with I Killed The Prom Queen and North­lane, and the Aus­tralian Warped Tour, Hand Of Mercy found them­selves back in Mas­sachusetts with Shane Frisby, the man re­spon­si­ble for record­ing 2012’ s Last Lights, about to be­gin the mo­men­tous task of fol­low­ing it up.

“We were much bet­ter pre­pared this time around, writ­ing 15 songs so we had some­thing to cut down from, re­mov­ing what, I guess, we would nor­mally think as be­ing a filler song,” gui­tarist Josh Campiao says bluntly. “We

“This Time we wanTed To puT more of a pos­i­Tive on Things.”

Josh Campiao

didn’t want to write 11 songs, go ‘ I don’t re­ally like that song but I guess we’re stuck with it…’ You know?

“We wrote a cou­ple of songs and fin­ished off a bunch more while in Europe, so go­ing in straight after tour­ing we were all prac­tised, we were ready to play our in­stru­ments, we didn’t have to warm up into any­thing.”

The ex­tra at­ten­tion paid dur­ing pre- pro­duc­tion and their ex­ist­ing re­la­tion­ship with Frisby meant they could spend more time ex­per­i­ment­ing while record­ing, in­tro­duc­ing a broader range of per­cus­sion and even branch­ing out for some am­bi­ent record­ings from lo­ca­tions around the stu­dio.

“It’s a way to add some­thing ex­tra amongst the chaos,” says Campiao, and at the en­thu­si­as­tic men­tion of a par­tic­u­lar tam­bourine sec­tion he af­fa­bly adds: “It does make you smile.”

There was more chaos to come; the de­par­ture of front­man Scott Bird was a span­ner in the works if ever there was one.

“We were so on track to re­lease the al­bum that we were taken aback a bit and didn’t know what was go­ing to hap­pen or who to get, but we per­se­vered, we had to push the idea of a record out of our head for a hot minute just so that we could get on task and find some­one that we liked,” Campiao ex­plains. That some­one was for­mer Take Us To Ve­gas mem­ber Nick Bell­ringer.

The re­cent team­ing up of Rise Records and UNFD means that Re­solve will get a world­wide re­lease when the date rolls around, and it also marks the first time the band’s mu­sic has made it to vinyl. While the ex­tra cou­ple of inches an LP has on a CD make all the dif­fer­ence to the art­work, there’s an even big­ger ver­sion of the al­bum’s cover art for those keen to take the pil­grim­age.

“We knew we didn’t want to do car­toony art­work, and we didn’t want to nec­es­sar­ily go with pic­tures of sky­lines and things like that, we were try­ing to work in what could be dif­fer­ent.”

What they opted for cer­tainly was – a pho­to­graph of a sto­ries- high flash sheet mu­ral by Mel­bourne artist Steen Jones. The process of paint­ing was filmed and un­veiled as part of the video for the first sin­gle “Des­per­ate Mea­sures”.

“It’s easy to write ag­gres­sive songs when the mu­sic is so ag­gres­sive; this time we wanted to put more of a pos­i­tive on things as well. Think­ing about the na­ture of Re­solve, there is both sides to the coin.”

That kind of ba­sic bi­nary is rep­re­sented by the good luck, bad luck, love, and hate ci­ta­tions that cap­tion the pan­els of the mu­ral, which the Syd­ney- based guys fi­nally got to see in the flesh on a re­cent tour.

“When we were in Mel­bourne on the Ram­page tour we went and vis­ited it, and I was just on tour with Hel­lions on the Rise Of Bro­tal­ity tour and we went and looked. It’s been at­tacked a few times, but the majority of it is still there as well, in Brunswick, off Vic­to­ria Street, if any­one wants to have a look.”

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