The Relief Effort, At Your Mercy

The Relief Effort, At Your Mercy

First, let me give you some context. My friend and I drove to New York last month, and that’s when I decided to do most of my CD review listening for the CDs in my current pile. As soon as I read the one-sheet that came with At Your Mercy, though, I knew that we were in for trouble. Frankly, it makes lead singer/songwriter Steven Wolfe sound like a bit of an asshole. Asshole-iosis in rock is totally okay, but you have to have the band to back it up. Unfortunately, The Relief Effort is not that outfit.

It’s not that the music itself is bad; it;s passable “alternative” radio rock with a slightly rootsy angle to it. What really drives the band into the ground are Wolfe’s vocals — the guy wants to be Springsteen, Waits, and (shiver) Scott Stapp all rolled into one and fails miserably on all counts. Yes, even Stapp. To add insult to injury, the vocals are way up in the mix, which brings the sub-par performance to the forefront. One song in particular, “Save The Radar,” drove my travel buddy and I so crazy with its repeated nails-on-the-chalkboard refrain that we almost took the CD out. Somehow we got through it, and from that point on we would warble “SAAAVE THE RAAAADARRRH” out of nowhere during the entire trip as a joke/annoyance to one another. So yeah, if you’re looking for cannon-fodder for “shitty lowest-common-denominator rock” jokes, then by all means this is the album for you. Otherwise, stay far away.

(St. Helena Records; The Relief Effort --

Review by . Review posted Thursday, December 7th, 2006. Filed under Reviews.

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