Itís once in a very long while when you find that record that hits you where it hurts, the one that weasels its way into your brain and into your heart, playing with your emotions with each passing song. For 2003, that album for me is Mercury by Longview. These Manchester lads have provided an amazing debut album that must be hunted down. Kicking off audaciously with the stunning grandeur that is ìFurther,î Mercury provides plenty of opportunities to have heart strings pulled and souls scraped. Shoegazy guitars back Rob McVeyís amazing, calm yet plaintive vocals. Imagine an album that culled the really important parts of downtempo tracks from Ride and The Verve, all swelling strings, soulful vocals and sweeping, skyscraping vision. The boys can turn the amps up to 11, as well, as is evidenced on ìWhen You Sleep,î a tune evocative of BRMC defrocked of their Reid brothers wigs. Heavy hitters were brought in for behind-the-desk duties, as the album was produced by Rick Parashar of Pearl Jam fame and was mixed by Chris Lord-Alge. But theyíre only there because the songs are so wondrous. Just take a listen to the emotive ìElectricityî or the song that is tied for my co-favorite of the year, ìCanít Explain,î and you will know why the fervor is building for Longview. Longview look to be here for the long haul.
JEREMY P. GOLDSTEIN