Full disclosure: I released an EP by STATS titled Crowned back in 2010. I was sent the song “Guthy Renker” to preview and was hooked. As with many of the bands I worked with, I felt STATS never got the praise they deserved. With Mercy, they should obtain a multitude of accolades and end up on year-end lists all over the globe.
STATS started as Stay Fucked back in 2002. Over the last 13 years, the band has changes members but still maintains the rawness and spontaneity they have possessed their whole career. What transpires today is a blend of King Crimson by way of Keelhaul with it’s prog tendencies. Mercy sounds like it was recorded in a dark and dingy basement (which is a good thing). The rawness of the recording (thanks to the mastering of James Plotkin) makes this album feel like these three congregated in a room and bashed it out. This is not a fine-tuned Pro Tools perfectionist piece and that’s one of the aspects of this album which makes it so great.
STATS consists of bassist/vocalist Tony Gedrich, guitarist Joe Petrucelli, and drummer/vocalist Hank Shteamer. All three gentlemen have roots planted firmly in the Brooklyn music scene and have collaborated with a plethora of talent over the years. But with Mercy, STATS will stand out from the crowd as their musicianship far outweighs any of their counterparts.
Intricate musical passages intertwined with nuanced harmonies alongside varied vocal patterns which demands repeated listens. Your mind won’t get it the first few times, but once it does, you’ll have this one on repeat!
While I enjoy all the songs on this record, “The Freeze, The Fritz” really displays all the greatness of STATS. Complex melodies paired with frantic and melodic vocals with just a minor hint of melody. Check it out over at Brooklyn Vegan.
I feel if I gush over this one too much folks will just say, “Well of course he likes it, he worked with them before.” I hope you will disregard that angle and buy this record.