Label: Rapid Eye Records Releasedate: 10-07-2020
Berlin-based post-punk act MAGGOT HEART have been building a solid path ever since they were formed in 2016. Founded by the the mastermind Linnéa Olsson (ex-THE OATH, ex-GRAVE PLEASURES), the band released the first debut Dusk to Dusk in 2018. After countless shows and a loyal fanbase, Linnéa and her team are back with Mercy Machine, released via RAPID EYE RECORDS.
As someone who has been following the band since day 1 and having seem them in unusual places, I gotta admit that writing this review was quite the nice challenge! After the fantastic debut Dusk to Dusk (2018), I was curious about how the band’s sound and lyrics were going to develop with this release. I was sure that I wouldn’t be disappointed, and I was damn right!
With Mercy Machine, we are experiencing that dirty rock sound, which is highly influenced by the big city vibes once again. However, this time, the band takes the sound to a higher level. Compared to Dusk to Dusk, there is a rather upbeat tempo, which is even optimistic at times. This was quite the surprising twist; whereas Dusk to Dusk was dominated by night, I could feel the hints of both day and night in Mercy Machine. The drums are dynamic as always, and Linnéa’s vocals even more confident.
One aspect I always loved with Maggot Heart is how the band combines different styles so well; there is a bit of post-punk, a bit of death/hard rock and even elements of the 60s. Yet, it would be simplifying to say that it is just a post-punk sound for instance. With Mercy Machine, this combination is mastered even better with the production and composition, which make the songs flow flawlessly. As a matter of fact, each song has a different character and colour, yet they complete each other so well. There is no room for repetitions as each track is on point, representing the aggression and passion in Maggot Heart’s sound.
It is rare that I get to enjoy the development of a band’s sound and style from day 1. Mercy Machine is dirty, aggressive and rock’n’roll to the bone! Lovers of the post-punk/death rock sound and lovers of the big city dirt, get this release and devour it! If you are new to this band and this sound, I can also recommend this album, and from there on, it will be chain reaction for sure and you will drawn to the music very fast! Definitely one of my favorites of 2020.
Highlights: Roses, Mercy Machine, Lost Boys
- Linnéa Olsson – guitars, vocals
- Olivia Airey – bass
- Uno Bruniusson – drums
01. Second Class
02. Sex Breath
05. Gutter Feeling
06. Mercy Machine
07. High Rise
08. Lost Boys
10. Modern Cruelty