Athens, Georgia churned out many a landmark modern rock band throughout the '80s, and Mercyland were no exception. However this unique power-trio weren't often associated with their locale, so much as their lineage. If you're a fan of yet another power-trio, that being the Bob Mould-led Sugar, you may be familiar with a Mercyland alumni named, David Barbe, who traded the roll of that band's lead-man to full-time bassist for Sugar. Sugar by the way were one of the only "original" bands on the predominately reissue label, Rykodisc
Mercyland had something of an indigenous flair that hasn't been replicated since (not that anyone has deliberately tried). Pegged as a "punk," band, their foundations are more rooted in pop and Midwestern rock. David Barbe possessed a commanding, yet haggard delivery, amidst a flurry of jangly, hard-strummed power chords. The formula worked, but few beyond the southeast had the opportunity to experience Mercyland.
Buoyed by the success of Sugar, Rykodisc packaged a collection of out of print Mercyland material, Spillage in 1994. Up until then, it was the only cd available of the band's singles and compilation appearances, however Mercyland's lone album, No Feet on the Cowling, had enjoyed a small run of cds, along with a more widely available vinyl version. This post is from the cd, that which by the way has two bonus tracks. Aren't I the lucky one? For new listeners, Spillage is the place to start, but for those already familiar with it, check out this album for a more complete picture of the band. By the way, Spillage has shown up in many a used-cd bargain bin. It's worth every penny...all fifty of them.
There's also a great Mercyland article that can be read here